A runaway service facility provides temporary shelter and crisis intervention counseling services to runaways and other youth in crisis. Crisis intervention counseling is also provided for parents and families. Agencies make every effort to encourage family members to participate with youth in counseling.
Runaway programs accept self-referrals and voluntary referrals from youth, caregivers, families, and agencies with youth free to discontinue use of service any time. Crisis intervention services are available to any youth or parent requesting assistance. All services are free of charge and available on a 24 hour basis.
Runaway programs act to prevent runaway episodes by follow up, aftercare, and preventative activities. Programs involve service linkages with youth serving public and private sector agencies, ensuring cooperative relations and effective referrals. The runaway program must have plans for meeting the best interests of the youth involving, whenever possible, both the youth and caregivers. In runaway programs, a unique counselor-client relationship is established, which stresses the qualities of trust and confidentiality. Youth make their own decisions in a supportive environment with appropriate advice as to their alternatives.
Transitional Living Program (TLP): The purpose of the FYSB-funded Transitional Living Program is to provide a safety net and strong emotional support system for young people, ages 16 to 22, to transition into self-sufficiency. Services are provided for up to 540 days, or in exceptional circumstances, up to 635 days. Young people who have not yet turned 18 after 635 days may stay in the program until their 18th birthday.
TLP grantees are required to offer the following services, either directly or by referral:
The Wisconsin Association for Homeless and Runaway Services is a network of community based, voluntary, non-profit, agencies. The goals of the member agencies are to strengthen families, prevent family dissolution, promote self-sufficiency, and assure permanent, stable, homes for youth. Programs provide youth and their families with preventive and crisis individual, family and group intervention, temporary shelter, crisis hotlines, aftercare services, outreach, and community education.
Street Outreach Member Programs provide youth with direct access to resources through a mobile youth outreach worker, provide youth with counseling, temporary shelter, 24 hour crisis hotlines, and after care services, reunite 90% of street youth served through the runaway program with their families or have them placed in a mutually agreed upon safe alternate living arrangement, provide outreach and referral services to street youth and implement positive community relations, provide Street Youth with educational materials specifically geared towards addressing issues of sexual exploitation, pregnancy prevention, and substance abuse.