Homeless Teenagers are not out of Trouble

by Ève Lacroix on September 13, 2013 - 12:20pm

As said in the article written by Jim Reed, journalist for the BBC, many homeless teenagers’ cases are not being well administrated in England. The BBC Newsnight found out that on a total of 208 local councils, 119 of them admitted to have placed many teens in bed and breakfast hotels throughout the last year. In fact, 871 sixteen and seventeen year olds had to inhabit one of these inappropriate accommodations – some of them on a long term basis, while social services departments were being in charge of 525 young-adults. In 2010, the British government had strongly prescribed that every teenager suspected of being in this kind of situation should be provided with an appropriate shelter and meets a social worker. The demand is actually so high that the local authorities and specialists cannot afford helping every one of them. Therefore, these young people get surrounded by a sexually and criminally influenced environment which promotes the illegal use of drugs and alcohol.  

These facts show that there is a serious social crisis. There is an alarming number of homeless teens and the local councils all around England are not ready to face this situation. Unfortunately, they are not appropriately equipped to meet the actual needs. This social issue brings out many questions. What are the main causes of this kind of problem? How can we help these young people get out of the streets? It is known that the high costs of such cares and services discourage many councils, but is that enough to leave these teenagers hopeless and destitute?  

I am shocked to realize that so many homeless teens don’t get the support they need, even in this highly developed area of the world. In my opinion, the British government should look at the root of the problem. Also, it has to financially invest in the social services programs to help make specialists more accessible and increase the number of institutional accommodations. It is its responsibility to restore the collapsed parts of this social structure. Thus, I think that if local councils would also be more organized and methodical in their interventions, the issue could definitely be solved. Rehabilitation and encouragement are essential to bring back these young men and women on the right track.   

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-23883080

 

Comments

This post is very interesting and eye-opening. I had absolutely no idea homeless teens were so common. After reading this post, I thought about society as a whole in the United States. I realized that, here in the US, situations like this also don’t get dealt with as immediate as they should either—even though it isn't such a social crisis here. Although I have no empathy or any kind of connection to this, it still makes me wonder about what the government does here in the US in this kind of predicament. I fully agree with you & feel that there should me more attention geared towards removing teens out of situations where potential crime & misjudgment are predominant. This is a great post and I’d like to see you take this further by looking into more specific cases & hearing about this situation from a homeless teen’s point-of-view. Does the counseling really help? Or do they feel it is inevitable to get out of a situation like that once brought in? I would also suggest looking further into how councilors feel about this.

I think this post is a great eye opener to the problem of homeless teens. I don't think I realized before reading this article how many homeless teens there actually are around the world. When I think of homeless people, my mind automatically jumps to middle aged adults that have gone through extreme hardships in their lives, and not teens who are just getting their foot into the "real world". I think if you were to actually research many different countries and their homeless teen statistics, you'd realize that this is a issue almost everywhere, and it probably continues growing yearly. With teens being on the streets and not having parental guidance, i can almost guarantee that there is studies out there that links teen homelessness to increase in crime and teen pregnancy, which is a horrible concept to think of since all of those situations are preventable in some way or another. While there are resources to help them, just like England, there isn't enough resources. I do believe that there needs to be more governmental agencies working on solutions for this problem. It would great if you took it a step further to explain specific plans or programs that are in place so far, and how exactly they have proven to work and lower the number of homeless teens on the streets.

I was very intrigued by your post. I did not know that England had such a problem with homeless teenagers. It made me wonder why so many young people were out wandering the streets trying to find a place to stay. I agree with you that the government should look at the root of the problem but I also wonder where these kids’ parents are. Your blog implied that these kids were all forced on the street. If the children are out on the street because they are being bounced from foster home to foster home, I definitely think that it is the responsibility of the government to intervene. But if the children are running away from home or being kicked out of their home for not following rules, I do not think that the government should be burdened by having to play the babysitter. I think what is most important about this issue is finding out if these teens are voluntarily homeless and need help getting on their feet, or if they are homeless for some other circumstance.

This topic reminded me of a troubled friend I had in high school, Ashley. She did not get along well with her family and was always getting kicked out of her house. My mom agreed to let Ashley stay at our house for a week, but in the meantime made arrangements for Ashley to stay at the Genesis House downtown. The Genesis House is a fourteen bed co-ed shelter for youth ages 16-20. The counselors in the home provide cased management services, life skills training and aftercare. Ashley was required to do chores in the home, help cook dinner, and each day she was required to look for a job, go to job interviews, or do something that would assist her in her job search. I am not sure if there is a place like that in England, but if there isn’t, the government should consider implementing a similar strategy. Your post explained that bed and breakfast hotels are the existing short-term solution for the problem of homeless teenagers. I think since you explained the current solution to homelessness, it would have been a great addition if you discussed the available resources (if any) for homeless and runaway kids. As you mentioned, rehabilitation and encouragement are essential but what is most important is addressing the reasons why these children are homeless in the first place.

Genesis house Information can be found at http://www.use.salvationarmy.org/use/www_use_Empire_RochesterNY.nsf/vw-t...

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