RHY News

Newly Released Report - Surviving the Streets of New York: Experiences of LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Engaged in Survival Sex

The Urban Institute just released a new groundbreaking report:

Surviving the Streets of New York:
Experiences of LGBTQ Youth, YMSM, and YWSW Engaged in Survival Sex

In the first of a series of reports, 283 LGBTQ youth tell their own powerful stories of being homeless in New York City, interfacing with peers, customers, service providers, law enforcement officials, and criminal justice personnel, and finding ways to survive despite the layers of adversity they face. They also make suggestions regarding the policy options they would like to see, and provide their opinions on what they perceive as harmful or helpful for their lives. Subsequent reports will provide a more in-depth analysis of these youth’s law enforcement and social service experiences.

Of course, this extensive work could not have been done without the support of our partners and funders: Streetwise and Safe, the Urban Institute’s Justice Policy Center, and the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Office of Justice Programs, U.S. Department of Justice. We cannot thank them enough.

We hope you read these youth’s important stories.

All the best,

Meredith Dank, Ph.D.
Senior Research Associate
The Urban Institute - Justice Policy Center
2100 M Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C.  20037

U R B A N   I N S T I T U T E
Justice Policy Center


NSPN Offers Academy for Competent Youth Work Training

National Safe Place Network Offers Academy for Competent Youth Work Training: February 24-26 & March 9-12

National Safe Place Network is pleased to offer Competent Youth Worker Certification through the Academy for Competent Youth Work. The training takes place over the course of seven days in Louisville, Kentucky: February 24-26 and March 9-11 with a test on March 12. Attendance is required at both sessions for certification. To learn more about the Competent Youth Worker Certification, please visit http://cyccb.org/.

Over the past 15 years, workforce studies have documented that: 1) the most important contributor to high quality programming is competent and capable staff; 2) competence in youth work is based on core principles that are present in all practice settings (i.e.: foster care, treatment, juvenile justice, after school, early childhood education, transitional living, housing, employment, community youth services, etc.); 3) professional development occurs in stages over a practitioner's career. Professional development programs need to offer multiple levels  beginning with foundational practice that create a pathway into advanced practice; and 4) workforce members want to be credentialed in a system that is widely recognized, offers employment benefits, and is transferable when changing employment or location.

It has never been clearer that the Child and Youth Care (CYC) profession is multifaceted and requires broadly trained professionals to be competent in many areas. It requires practitioners able to work in a variety of settings; who are skillful in applying core youth care principles and aware of emerging 'best practices'; who can deliver a wide assortment of developmental, health, employment, educational and other supports; who are aware of the services available in the community to support children, youth, and families; and importantly, who remain in the profession long enough to become fully competent practitioners.

The CYC: Basic Course and certifications offered by the CYC Certification Board and CYC Certification Institute are responses from the professional community to address these needs. Professionals will be credentialed by programs that recognize their contributions and competence, and connect them to higher levels of employment and education.

Academy for Competent Youth Work: Training I:  February 24-26, 2015
Academy for Competent Youth Work: Training II:  March 9-11, 2015
Academy for Competent Youth Work: Certification Test: March 12, 2015

Please note: Participants MUST attend both training sessions. If you are unable to attend BOTH sessions, please do not register for this offering. We will make the training available again with different time commitments but we have to offer the first installment of this opportunity as a two-part session on the dates stated above.

Space is limited to 25 registrants.

Registration Fee:
$600 per participant
25% Discount - Licensed Safe Place Agencies
50% Discount - National Safe Place Network Members
FREE - Family and Youth Services Bureau Runaway and Homeless Youth Grantees

Participants are responsible for travel costs, including food, hotel, and transportation. 

To register for these trainings, please click herehttps://nspn.memberclicks.net/index.php?option=com_mc&view=mc&mcid=form_189380

Event Location:
Holiday Inn Louisville East
1325 South Hurstbourne Parkway
Louisville, KY 40222

Room Rate: $109/night

For hotel reservations, please call 502.426.2600 and ask for "NSPN Academy for Competent Youth Work" or visit www.hihurstbourne.com and enter block code "NNW" to receive the discounted room rate of $109/night. This rate includes one breakfast per room.


Upcoming Human Trafficking Forum in Region 5

Save the Date - Human Trafficking Forum

Engaging Faith Communities: End Human Trafficking

The Administration for Children and Families (ACF) in collaboration with the Office of Women’s Health (OWH), and the Global Peace Foundation are pleased to invite you to a Human Trafficking all-day forum to engage the faith-based community.

The event will provide an overview of the federal human trafficking law and national strategy to combat human trafficking and slavery in America. Learn about how to educate your own community and become a catalyst for a broader public awareness, providing direction for all levels of engagement in the efforts to protect families, and end trafficking in our communities.

Where:  Chicago, IL
Metcalfe Federal Building
77 West Jackson Blvd.


Help Available to RHY Grantees Beginning to Use HMIS

SNAPS and the Administration for Children and Families (ACF), Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) Encourage CoCs to Work with their Local Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Grantees to Help Them Begin to Use HMIS

In the October 14, 2014 SNAPS In Focus: Youth Homelessness (https://www.hudexchange.info/homelessness-assistance/snaps-in-focus/?utm...) message from Deputy Assistant Secretary for Special Needs, Ann Oliva, HUD recognizes that youth have unique developmental needs and our approach to youth homelessness has to do a better job taking these into account. This is true for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), but is also true for communities and for local providers. Both HUD and HHS recognize the need for better data on homeless youth in order to make informed decisions on what works to end youth homelessness.

One of the best ways HUD, HHS, Department of Education, and the other federal partners can work to end youth homelessness is to promote high quality, cross-sector data gathering. This will help federal agencies make informed policy decisions, as well as help each community determine the extent of youth homelessness and how best to assist youth. This strategy also aligns with the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness (USICH) plan. 

To create better data on youth homelessness, HHS and HUD worked together to release unified elements in the 2014 HMIS Data Standards (https://www.hudexchange.info/news/2014-hmis-data-standards-new-resources...) issued earlier this year. HHS' Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) program grantees will be able to use HMIS as the primary source of data entry for reporting back to the Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB).

FYSB recently sent a letter to their RHY grantees outlining this partnership and their efforts to foster greater coordination among organizations serving homeless youth. As part of this effort, FYSB is requiring all RHY grantees to begin using their local CoC's HMIS and suggesting that they become active in their local CoC. HUD encourages CoCs to reach out to youth programs in your community and to welcome the RHY grantees into your CoC, if you are not already doing this.

HUD recognizes communities will have questions about this collaboration and what it means for their CoC. HUD suggests you visit the RHY program's website (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/programs/runaway-homeless-youth?utm...) to learn more about the FYSB RHY Act and Resources (http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/resource/rhy-act). HUD and its national TA providers are working with FYSB staff to finalize a RHY-HMIS Program Manual that will provide detailed instructions on RHY project set up and additional data collection guidance for the RHY programs. This will be out within the next few weeks. HUD also encourages communities with questions about this new collaboration to submit their questions through the Ask a Question (AAQ) Portal (https://www.hudexchange.info/get-assistance/my-question/) on the HUD Exchange (https://www.hudexchange.info/). On Step 2 of the question submission process, select "HMIS" from the "My question is related to" drop down list. 

HUD and HHS also recognize that RHY grantees have requirements around client confidentiality and data sharing specific to the youth they serve. These issues will be addressed further in the HMIS Privacy and Security Notice, which HUD will release, and communities will have an opportunity to comment on, in 2015. HUD and HHS are also working together with communities who have successfully navigated these issues to develop examples of best practices and hope to release those in early 2015. For now, communities and CoCs are encouraged to work with RHY grantees to be sure they have a seat at the table and to help them understand HUD’s requirements. Communities that need assistance with this should request technical assistance (https://www.hudexchange.info/technical-assistance/) via the HUD Exchange.

RHY grantees who are not sure who the CoC contact is for their community, please visit the About Grantees (https://www.hudexchange.info/grantees/?granteesaction=main.searchresults...) section of the HUD Exchange.

Additional resources on homeless youth:


Human Trafficking: Recognize, Respect and Respond (HTR3) Capacity Building Application

The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) is seeking Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) grantees that are interested in a 12-month capacity building effort to provide services to victims/survivors of human trafficking (sex and labor). Selected grantees will partner with organizations with advanced levels of experience providing services to human trafficking victims/survivors and will receive ongoing, agency focused, technical assistance geared to meeting organizational goals on developing human trafficking awareness and intervention services. RHY grantees do not have to currently provide these services to qualify. There are no FUNDS associated with involvement in this effort.

As part of FYSB’s focus on preventing human trafficking and supporting survivors, FYSB has funded the National Safe Place Network to bring its Human Trafficking Recognize, Respect, and Respond (HTR3) Framework to RHY grantees through the Network’s operation of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (RHYTTAC).

Please find attached the letter of commitment requirements, sample letter of commitment, and the capacity building application.

All forms, including a letter of support, must be submitted on or before December 15, 2014 for consideration.


Access videos from the 2014 National RHY Grantees Conference here!

Want a recap of the 2014 National RHY Grantees Conference? Feel free to check out the videos below.  

2014 National RHY Grantees Conference Recap Video:

Opening Plenary Welcome: 

General Federal Session: 

Grantee Update and Support Overview: 

FYSB Mural Winner Presentation and ARTS Keynote:  

RHYA Anniversary Celebration Video:  

Closing Session / Keynote Video:  

Conference Program:  


Foster Care Youth in RHY Programs - Information Memorandum

Earlier this year, many of you requested guidance on youth who run from foster care and enter an RHY shelter.  Both the Administration on Children and Families' Acting Assistant Secretary, Mark Greenberg, and the Family and Youth Services Bureau's (FYSB) Associate Commissioner, William Bentley heard your voices.  So, in September, Mr. Bentley, issued a letter informing you of the forthcoming guidance and committing FYSB  to working with the Children's Bureau.  We, along with the Children's Bureau, are pleased to provide you with specific guidance on this topic in the form of the attached Information Memorandum (IM).  This IM, titled, "Foster Care Youth in RHY Programs - Information Memorandum," gives guidance on the appropriate provision of services for youth who run away from foster care and come in contact with runaway and homeless youth programs. 

ACF Information Memorandum


FYSB Announces FY2014 Grant Awards for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Program

The Family and Youth Services Bureau has announced the recipients of 2014 Grant Awards for the Basic Center Program, Street Outreach Program and the Domestic Victims of Severe Trafficking Program. To review the lists of recipients, please select the applicable link below.

BCP: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/resource/2014-bcp-awards

SOP: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/resource/2014-sop-awards

Human trafficking: https://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/resource/2014-domestic-victims-severe-trafficking

Look for coming posting for all programs: http://www.acf.hhs.gov/programs/fysb/news/rhy-fy2014-grant-awards


Celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act with Us!

The Runaway and Homeless Youth Act was created to ensure that all RHY have a sense of safety and structure, belonging and membership, self-worth and social contribution, independence and control over one’s life, and closeness in interpersonal relationships. Throughout the last 40 years, this is exactly what RHY Grantees have been providing and we want to celebrate your success!

We are planning to put together a tribute that will highlight some of the wonderful memories you have created since the RHY Act was signed in 1974. We also would like to share what your dreams are for the next 40 years. Your organization can be a part of this celebration by submitting your story.

Here’s how:

  • Gather photographs, letters, drawings and other documents reflecting an extraordinary history of your organization throughout the last 40 years.
    Don’t have these items? That’s ok! Be creative! You can also create a short video to share!
    Note: Images should be formatted as .jpg, .png, .pdf and videos should be formatted to .mov.
    If sharing multiple images, please make sure they are in chronological order by the image name (ex. 1985NSPN.jpg, 2004NSPN.mov – or 1NSPN.jpg, 2NSPN.jpg, 3NSPN.mov, etc.)
    Don’t forget to respect the confidentiality rights for youth currently and previously in care. Confidentiality is a fundamental part of our professional practice that keeps our kids safe!
  • Once you have gathered the materials, you may upload them at: https://nspn.memberclicks.net/index.php?option=com_mc&view=mc&mcid=form_170777.
    You may also complete the attached form and forward the completed form and content you would like to share via email to Elizabeth Smith Miller, Communications Coordinator, at [email protected].
  • Please make sure that you also include the organization name, contact name, and phone number along with the submission. Submissions sent via email must also complete and return the attached 40th Anniversary Celebration form. If a form is not received, the email submission will not be utilized.
  • All entries must be received no later than Monday, September 22, 2014.

Not sure what types of information you can share? Here are some ideas and questions to get you started:

  1. Do you have a photo, selfie, drawing, or another document that represents the history of your organization during the past 40 years?
  2. What are your organizations greatest advancements and successes?
  3. What are some of the happiest, funniest, favorite, or most rewarding moments that you, your staff, or the youth have created at your organization?
  4. What are you most proud of?
  5. What traditions have you created and do you still enjoy with staff and youth?
  6. Do you have a long time staff member that would like to highlight his or her time in the RHY field or share their greatest lesson learned during their tenure? Perhaps he or she would like to share words of wisdom for future generations of grantees.
  7. Do you have/know youth that would like to share success stories or how their lives have been impacted in a positive way?
  8. When sitting around discussing the traditions, triumphs, and transformations of the organization and youth served with others, what is the "go to story" or your favorite memory that you share?
  9. Do you have/know a youth that has paid it forward or given back to the community because of services received by your organization?

Be a part of this awesome event; share your stories today!


You are invited to participate in an Innovation Circles Project!

You are invited to participate in an Innovation Circles Project which explores how human service organizations address professional development needs. National Safe Place Network and MANY - two national organizations who are committed to building capacity of youth and family service agencies - want your help in understanding how we can best support professional development for those that work with youth and families.

How do you participate? Just share your experience with us. Your responses will be part of a national data collection and review effort exploring how agencies are responding to the ever-changing needs of the staff at their organizations. Your responses are confidential - all data will be analyzed in the aggregate.

We know that your perspective about what you need and about what other staff may need is impacted by the role that you have within your organization. We want to capture these perspectives and address professional development from as many angles as possible. As such, we are deliberate in our attempts to hear from staff at four different levels of organizations:

·         Lead Now (Executive Leaders)

·         Program Excellence (Program level Supervisors, Managers, Department Heads, etc.)

·         Intentional Interventions (Clinical Staff, Case Managers, Counselors, etc.)

·         Shift Change (Direct Care, Outreach, Milieu Supervision, Support Staff, etc.)

Here is how you can help inform the field:

  • First, follow the link below and spend 10-15 minutes completing the online survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/InnovationCirclesPD
  • Second, forward this message to colleagues in your organization as well as those at other agencies. We want to reach far and wide to collect responses from human service workers across the United States.
  • Third, please consider encouraging team members who provide the most frontline services in your agency to participate. In our initial pilot, these very important "Shift Change" perspectives were unfortunately underrepresented.

We ask that you provide responses no later than August 15, 2014.

That's it! If you are interested in the final report of this national Innovation Circles Project, you may choose to provide your email address at the end of your survey (please note your email will not be attached to your survey responses). If you have any questions about the survey or the Innovation Circles Project, please contact either Tammy Hopper, NSPN, at [email protected] or 502-635-3660, or Kristen Truffa, MANY, at [email protected] or 412-965-9067.

We very much appreciate your time and participation in this effort.


National Safe Place Network and MANY

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