RHY Resources

Building Trauma-Informed Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs

The Family and Youth Services Bureau (FYSB) and Runaway and Homeless Youth Training and Technical Assistance Center (RHYTTAC) are pleased to announce the release of a comprehensive interactive learning module series, Building Trauma-Informed Runaway and Homeless Youth (RHY) Programs. This two-part, online module series is designed to support RHY grantees and all youth-serving agencies in adopting a universal, trauma-informed approach to serving youth experiencing unsafe or unstable living situations, homeless youth, and youth who are at risk of becoming homeless.

Module one, Understanding Trauma and Its Effects, helps programs build a shared understanding of trauma and its impact on youth. The module is designed to help all staff identify the types of experiences that can be traumatic for youth, understand how the brain and body respond to stress and trauma, recognize the effects of trauma on youth and service providers, and apply trauma concepts to daily practice.

Module two, Adopting a Trauma-Informed Approach, builds on the learning from the first module and provides leaders and staff with a framework and strategies for building a trauma-informed program by building a trauma-informed workforce, establishing trusting relationships with youth, creating safe and respectful service environments, fostering trauma-informed service delivery, and promoting trauma-informed policies and procedures. 

Staff of youth-serving agencies are encouraged to view the modules together as part of their ongoing professional development. Each module includes downloadable handouts, such as checklists, worksheets, practice guides, and discussion questions for supporting staff in applying concepts to daily practice, along with a facilitation guide with suggestions for how to use the module and companion materials for in-person group training. 

The Building Trauma-Informed Runaway and Homeless Youth Programs module series is available for public access via the following links:

For the best viewing experience, use Chrome or Firefox browsers as Internet Explorer is no longer supported.

Staff members of FYSB-funded RHY programs may obtain a certificate of completion by viewing the modules on eLearning. Grantees in need of an eLearning account may click here to register.

If you have any questions, please email the RHYTTAC team at [email protected]


Chicago Young Parents Program Improves Parenting, Well-being and Education

Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago recently released results from its three-year evaluation of a two-generation pilot program for young parents ages 16-24 whose children are enrolled in Head Start or Early Head Start. The Chicago Young Parents Program (CYPP) aims to improve parenting, personal growth and family self-sufficiency through a combination of youth employment services, mentoring and comprehensive Head Start programming. Findings from the final study indicate that CYPP has positive effects on parent-child interactions, young parents’ abilities to regulate emotions, educational attainment, and a sense of social belonging.

Read or download the final report at



Different Mental Health Outcomes for Runaway versus Other Homeless Youth

Researchers examined data from nearly 69,000 students taking the Minnesota Student Survey in 2016 in order to explore the extent to which mental health outcomes vary among unstably housed youth, youth who run away, and unaccompanied homeless youth. Published in March 2020 in Pediatrics, findings indicated that youth who run away are at increased risk for poor mental health compared to other young people experiencing homelessness and housing instability. The study reinforces the idea that subgroups of homeless youth have distinct needs and may benefit from more targeted interventions.

Read the full article at



Understanding Science-based Terms Relevant to Youth Work

Child Trends has developed an online glossary defining terms that youth work practitioners may commonly encounter in evidence-based literature, funding announcements, and practice recommendations.  The site organizes terms into three categories— contexts, interventions, and outcomes—and includes examples of how categories relate to one another. Additionally the glossary includes terms used in evaluation, such as ‘theory of change’ and ‘impact evaluation,’ along with links to resources that help visitors learn more.

View or download the glossary at



USDA Summer Food Service Program

The Summer Food Service Program (SFSP) is a federally funded program administered at the state level that provides free meals to children ages 18 and under during summer months. Nonprofit organizations are eligible to become program sponsors or meal sites—meal sites must maintain clean and sanitary facilities to store and serve food to youth, keep daily records of meals served, and help promote the program in the community. In order to participate, at least half of children served in community sites must be eligible for free or reduced-price meals based on federal income guidelines.

Learn more about the program and find local meal sites at




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