Selected risk factors contribute to homelessness among youth: a comparative study of Chile and the United States Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/undergraduate_thesis_or_projects/z603r282g

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  • Youth who are at-risk of homelessness are placed into jeopardizing situations because they are often pushed toward the outer edges of society, disconnected from healthy support networks, involved in illegal activities, and their chances of having successful futures are, in turn, diminished. The goals of this project were to: review current literature of homelessness among youth in the United States and Chile and identify parallel risk factors occurring in both countries; determine causes and effects of selected risk factors; and identify methods cited in the literature that may prevent the occurrence of selected risk factors, and provide them to one social welfare agency in each of the two countries (SEDEJ and JSYSI). In order to identify these risk factors, I chose to conduct a literature review which resulted in the following: substance abuse, lack of education, single parent household, low social class, childhood abuse, mental illness, involvement in criminal activity, and lack of healthy support networks. I subsequently decided to conduct interviews with Chilean and American social workers so that I could determine whether the literature corresponded with actual experience. These interviews proved there to be a strong correlation between the literature and experiences that the social workers have had while working with youth who are at-risk of homelessness. Although I discovered many parallels in my research about the populations of at-risk youth in Chile and the United States, I also observed several differences that clearly relate to the cultural values that are distinct to each of these countries.
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