Date of Publication


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work (MSW)


Social Work




Multnomah County (Or.) Juvenile Court, Donald E. Long Home (Portland, Or.), Portland Youth Advocates Inc., Runaway children, Families -- Research



Physical Description

1 online resource (ix, 140 leaves)


Because of the relative uniqueness of the runaway experience as it now exists, minimal current research information is available. It was our feeling that knowledge about runaways, their families, and the social agencies which serve them is essential if significant prevention and treatment for the problem were to be implemented by the community. The purpose and scope of this exploratory research was essentially two-fold; to contribute descriptive information about runaway youth and their families to the community, and to evaluate the current populations of two agencies which service them. An underlying goal throughout the research was to utilize the data collected to identify trends in runaway behavior, increase the potential for predictability, and provide some real insight into prevention techniques. Our informal hypothesis was that there is a significant difference in specific variables between runaway and non-runaway populations. We were interested in developing a typology of runaways, identifying those factors which increase a child's probability that he/she will run away. Finally, we wanted to know if different agencies tend to serve a particular kind of runaway who has specific characteristics. These constituted the major goals for this research practicum. Since most law enforcement and social service energy is spent at the point of crisis, this research sought to identify trends in the scope of the problem which would aid preventative services for runaways. Hopefully, the impact of this practicum will influence crucial issues in terms of family dynamics, treatment intervention, community resources, and delinquency prevention. The results of this study will be distributed to the participating agencies and other interested segments of the community. Probably more detailed hypothesis testing will be needed; however, this study forms a base of information for future research. Better assessment of meeting the problem by evaluating all existing services should be a continuing focus for the social service community.


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Portland State University. School of Social Work

Persistent Identifier