RHY Grantee 101

Image: 
Photograph of diverse youth workers reading from a laptop computer.

Providing services to and partnering with runaway and homeless youth is foundational to all RHY services. Whether you are a new grantee organization or are a new staff member in an organization that has provided services for many years - WELCOME! The youth accessing RHY services may come from backgrounds filled with trauma, substance abuse, neglect and family conflict. They may be youth who have survived on the streets for a day or month. They may be youth who are thinking about running away and looking for support. These youth are also creative, intelligent individuals who are dealing with the normal challenges faced by all adolescents. Each youth presents with unique circumstances but all share a need to be heard, supported and engaged as active participants in addressing the challenges they face.

The original authorizing legislation entitled the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act (Title III of the Juvenile Justice Delinquency Prevention Act of 1974) was passed to create Basic Center shelter services for non-system youth who were runaways and/or homeless. This non-systems definition has remained as the clear delineation between RHY and other child welfare related services. In subsequent years new programs and demonstration project were added. Required services were expanded or amended to reflect positive youth development and other service philosophies that reflected emerging research regarding best practices. As federally funded RHY services approach the 40 year anniversary of authorization, the key elements continue to be refined to help organizations create seamless services that create the best possible outcomes for youth.

Tips for New Grantees/Staff

  • Register for e-learning and review the New Grantee Orientation and other available sessions.
  • Subscribe to the Community of Practice to start connecting with other grantees.
  • Visit the Resource section to find links to the current legislation and monitoring instrument for RHY programs.
  • Review the grant for your program for details on the way your organization has decided to address RHY needs in your community.
  • Register for new webinars and Talk it Out Thursday conference calls to learn about new trends in RHY services.
  • Engage in state, regional and national associations that feature content and programs for RHY agencies.
  • Complete RHYMIS training and visit the sites of our Network of Support Partners to learn more about resources and services.