RHY News

National Human Trafficking Hotline Database

The Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (RHYTTAC) would like to invite your organization to submit an application to join the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH) referral database for youth victims of human trafficking. Please click here to access the letter of invitation: http://tinyurl.com/ht-hotline-referral-database.

As you know, runaway and homeless youth are at increased risk and are especially vulnerable to human trafficking situations due both to their age and circumstances. The services you provide make your organization a logical fit to meet the needs of these trafficked youth.

If your organization is interested in being included in the database, we ask that you please complete the National Referral Directory Application, which will be reviewed by NHTH staff. Please click here to access the application: https://forms.humantraffickinghotline.org/4. For more information about the referral database, inclusion criteria, and the questions asked in the application, please read the Guidelines and Expectations document: http://humantraffickinghotline.org/sites/default/files/NHTRC.


The “Learning to Upload RHYMIS Data—April 2016” Webinar Now Available

The “Learning to Upload RHYMIS Data—April 2016” webinar recording is now available on RHYTTAC eLearning.

This webinar recording demonstrates how FYSB RHY grantees will use the new data platform, RHYPoint, to upload their RHYMIS data. The first data transfer will begin April 11 and be open through COB on April 29, 2016. The webinar includes:

  • Changes and lessons learned from 2015 submission period
  • Introduction to requirements for data transfer and why it’s important 
  • Review of required tasks for grantees and HMIS vendors
  • Demonstration of how to upload data and check for data quality
  • Information on available TA resources

To access this webinar, please visit eLearning and search for “RHYMIS Data Upload Preparation". 

Review our eLearning webpage to learn how to create an account and search for these webinars on our eLearning platform.

Access This Webinar Now

Home Free Program Expansion

The National Runaway Safeline, with the support of Greyhound Lines, Inc., has expanded the Home Free program eligibility to include victims of sex & labor trafficking and service through age 21. The expansion supports universal recognition that runaway, homeless, at-risk and child welfare adjudicated youth are the highest risk group for exploitation. Expanding eligibility through age 21 further aligns the Home Free program with the service eligibility age ranges of many of the state and federally funded homeless youth housing programs. NRS maintains an extensive nationwide database of trafficking related resources and social service providers.  Below is a letter from National Runaway Safeline's executive director, Maureen Blaha.

Dear Service Provider,

The National Runaway Safeline’s (NRS) mission is to keep America’s runaway, homeless, and at-risk youth safe and off the streets. One way NRS has been working to fulfill our mission is through our family reunification program, HOME FREE. Established in 1995 as a partnership with Greyhound Lines, Inc., NRS has helped over 15,000 youth in crisis reunite with their legal guardians or travel to an “Alternative Living Arrangement” (ALA). ALA options allow youth to identify safe and stable reunification options outside of their nuclear family when appropriate.

In keeping with our mission, through our collaboration with Greyhound Lines Inc., we have expanded the service eligibility for the HOME FREE program to include victims of sex and labor trafficking and to extend the age of eligibility through the age of 21. The HOME FREE program is available 24/7 and is accessed by calling our toll-free hotline 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929).

The National Runaway Safeline (NRS) is the sole organization through which a HOME FREE ticket may be issued.

Please see the flyer regarding the HOME FREE guidelines for eligibility. If you have any questions, please call our crisis line at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) and ask to speak to a crisis services supervisor.


Maureen Blaha
Executive Director

You may view the HOME FREE flyer here:  https://nspn.memberclicks.net/assets/docs/RHYTTAC/hf%20fact%20sheet%20flier%20trafficking%20expansion%20flyer.pdf


New Grantee Orientation

Thursday, November 4th, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m. ET

Join the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) for the 2021 Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Program New Grantee Orientation. If your organization has received its first grant award, or if your organization received a new award to continue serving young people experiencing homelessness, your participation is mandatory.  

The New Grantee Orientation will cover the following topics:

  • Family and Youth Services Bureau Organizational Structure
  • FYSB Mission and Vision
  • Overview of the Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Act
  • History, Purpose, and Scope of RHY Programs
  • Overview of Program-Specific Requirements
  • Managing Your Federal Grant
  • Role of Federal Project Officers and Grants Management Officers
  • Post Award Monitoring and Support
  • RHY Program Network of Support

All newly awarded organizations (new and existing) must plan for two representatives to attend the New Grantee Orientation.  

If you have any questions, please contact [email protected].



National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month

On December 31, 2014, President Barack Obama called upon businesses, national and community organizations, families, and all Americans to recognize the vital roles we can play in ending all forms of slavery as he proclaimed the month of January to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month. 

About Human Trafficking:

The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 (TVPA) defines “severe forms of human trafficking” as:

         The recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for:

  • Sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is inducted by force, fraud, and coercion, or in which the person inducted to perform such act has not attained 18 years of age; or
  • Labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, and coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery

Trafficking in persons, or human trafficking, is a widespread form of modern-day slavery. It is a crime that involves the exploitation of a person for the purpose of compelled labor or a commercial sex act through the use of force, fraud, or coercion. If a person younger than 18 is inducted to perform a commercial sex act, it is considered a crime regardless of whether there is any force, fraud, or coercion. Human traffickers target all populations around the world and in our own neighborhoods: women, men, youth, children, citizens, non-citizens, English speakers, non-English speakers. Some groups, such as runaway and homeless youth, native individuals, domestic violence victims, and LGBTQ population are particularly vulnerable to human trafficking. Victims are recruited and lured by traffickers with the false promise of a better life, love, and job opportunities. Later, traffickers use violence, threats, and manipulation to controls their victims. Homeless youth who are forced to trade sexual acts with an adult in exchange of something of value (i.e. shelter, food) are considered victims of domestic sex trafficking.

Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise of this century, growing from a nine billion to a 32 billion dollar global industry in a little over a decade.  There is no typical trafficker, and it has been shown that traffickers can be parents or other close family members, family friends, boyfriends/girlfriends, employers, smugglers or strangers.  Traffickers can be part of an organized enterprise or can work alone. Street gangs, for example, are known to traffic minors into the drug and sex markets. Don’t ignore the facts. Slavery exists and we can work together to end it.



FYSB Webinar Series on the Affordable Care Act

Recordings Now Available for Part I & II of the FYSB Affordable Care Act Webinar Series

Part I: Getting Youth the Health Care They Need: Available Options under the Affordable Care Act

This webinar provides an overview of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and direction for navigating and enrolling in the health insurance market place. The webinar is presented by Kim Gillan, Regional Director, Region VIII for the Office of Inter-governmental and External Affairs at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Participants will receive information about the health coverage options available to unaccompanied youth under the ACA, strategies for effective outreach and enrollment for this population, and methods to engage stakeholders and develop formal and informal relationships that facilitates access to care and services. This is the first in a three part series.

To access this webinar, please visit:  https://nationalsafeplace.ilinc.com/join/vsxptmp

Additional ACA resources are included below. These and other ACA resources are available on the RHYTTAC website: http://www.rhyttac.net/resources

Apply for Medicaid & CHIP through the Health Insurance Marketplace: https://nspn.memberclicks.net/assets/docs/RHYTTAC/apply-for-medicaid-chip-through-marketplace%201.pdf

Get Covered: A One-Page Guide to the Health Insurance Marketplace: https://nspn.memberclicks.net/assets/docs/RHYTTAC/get-covered-a-one-page-guide-to-the-marketplace.pdf

Part II: Enrolling Vulnerable Youth in Medicaid

This webinar provides an overview of Medicaid enrollment of vulnerable youth, including those having aged out of foster care and unaccompanied homeless youth.  Focus will be on new Medicaid opportunities with the Affordable Care Act, outreach to youth, the National campaign, and highlighted differences in states that have expanded Medicaid and those that have not.  Challenges for enrollment and strategies to address these will be identified.  The webinar is presented by Annie Hollis, Division of Eligibility and Enrollment, Children and Health Programs Group, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services.

To access this webinar, please visit: https://nationalsafeplace.ilinc.com/join/xmxkwsv


Community Notice: Appropriation Act for FY 2016

Dear FYSB Grantee:

As you are aware, the Government Fiscal Year (FY) 2015 ends on September 30, 2015 and an Appropriation Act for FY 2016 has not yet been passed. The Administration strongly believes that a lapse in appropriations should not occur, and that there is enough time for Congress to act to prevent a lapse. However, prudent management requires that we prepare for an orderly execution of contingency plans in the unfortunate event of a lapse. In the event a continuing resolution or a FY2016 budget is not passed and a lapse of funding occurs, I wanted to provide you with information related to our grant administration processes.

Should a lapse in funding occur, HHS and Administration for Children and Families staff will not be available to provide routine administrative support services. HHS will, however, maintain the Payment Management System in an operational status to continue processing grant drawdown requests, so that payments can be made for excepted programs. The robust internal controls that currently exist would continue to ensure the integrity of grant drawdown requests and payments. For awards received prior to the gap in funding, you may also be able to continue drawing funds from prior awards during an appropriations lapse. If you received your notice of grant award with restrictive terms and conditions, or if your drawdown request triggers one of the Payment Management System edit checks and or the drawdown limit controls, you may not be able to drawdown funds.

If you are considering submitting an application for additional HHS federal assistance funding, please be advised, that the Grants.gov system will be operational and will be accepting applications from prospective grantees. HHS will take action on those applications for fully funded and excepted programs. For those programs which are non-excepted, the Grants.gov system will to accept and store applications until such time as the responsible Department has the authority and funding to return to normal business operations.

Please check our website at www.acf.hhs.gov and www.hhs.gov for updates. Thank you for your assistance with this period of a potential government shut-down and your ongoing support of the Administration for Children and Families.

Communication Notice to RHY Grantees


US Dept. of Education Releases New Guidance on Homeless Youth Determinations

Yesterday, the U.S. Department of Education issued a Dear Colleague letter clarifying determinations for unaccompanied homeless youth for financial aid. It revises USED policy so that all applicants under age 24, including those who are 22 or 23 years old, and who are unaccompanied and homeless, or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless, qualify for a homeless youth determination and will be considered independent students.

Importantly, the clarifies that youth who are between the ages of 21 and 24 and who are unaccompanied and homeless, or self-supporting and at risk of being homeless, qualify for a homeless youth determination, and will be considered independent students. This is a change from previous guidance that defined “youth” as 21 and under.

The July 29 ED Dear Colleague letter may be downloaded here: http://naehcy.org/educational-resources/higher-ed

NAEHCY’s higher education page contains many additional resources for youth, school district homeless liaisons, homeles service providers, financial aid administrators, and other higher education professionals, including:

  • A Higher Education Hotline, (855) 446-2673 (toll-free) or [email protected]
  • Podcasts
  • FAFSA Tip Sheets
  • Determination Templates
  • Toolkits on financial aid, college access, and college success

For more information, and for assistance related to higher education, please contact NAEHCY’s Director of Higher Education Initiatives, Cyekeia Lee, at:
Toll-free helpline: (855)-446-2673
Phone: (313)-436-5949
Email: [email protected]


RHY-OHS Partnership Dissemination Plan

The attached RHY-OHS Partnership Dissemination Plan is a resource document developed in coordination with the Office of Head Start to provide to RHY grantees (primary focus on Maternity Group Home grantees).  The information will assist grantees in identifying important factors that influence a child’s behavior and effective response strategies.

RHY-OHS Partnership Dissemination Plan 2015


Annual RHY Grantee Survey Now Available

It is time for the annual RHY Grantee Survey. The information gathered from this survey will help the Family and Youth Services Bureau understand more about the work you do at the local level and will help RHYTTAC in planning the training and technical assistance that would be most helpful. The survey should take approximately 10 – 20 minutes to complete. Although only one answer per grantee agency is required, the instrument does allow for staff operating from different role perspectives to include their points of view as well. Please forward to other staff within your organization. The deadline for the completion of the surveys is Friday, July 17. Thank you in advance for the information.


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