PA-SH 11: Developmentally Appropriate Programs for Homeless and Runaway Children and Youth
Shelters that serve homeless and runaway children and youth provide a program
that meets their needs for social, emotional, cognitive, and physical development.
NA The agency does not provide shelter for homeless and runaway children and youth.
The shelter serves children and youth in a supportive setting that:
- enables them to feel physically and psychologically safe and secure; and
- provides a developmentally appropriate structure, with clear and consistent rules and behavioral expectations that are developed with their participation.
Children and youth are offered an organized daily program of age appropriate and developmentally appropriate social, recreational, and educational activities, in a youth friendly environment.
Youth have opportunities to participate in group activities to meet, support, and share experiences with peers, based on their assessed readiness to participate in these activities.
Opportunities to participate in culturally appropriate social, cultural, recreational, and religious activities should be designed to expand the range of life experiences, and be sensitive to the needs of indigenous groups or youth with special needs
Youth are helped to develop social support networks and build or maintain healthy, meaningful relationships with caring individuals.
“Caring individuals” may include mentors, community members, friends, siblings, and other family members. Although many youth in independent living programs are disconnected from long-term family relationships, research
indicates that youth in out-of-home care
often maintain relationships with their families and return to them upon exit from care. Independent living programs should be aware of any involvement that youths may have with their family members and should (1) foster supportive relationships when it is possible to do so, or (2) assist youth in coping with or avoiding unhealthy relationships.