Parent Chat Offers Online Support, Solutions for Parents of Teenagers


National Runaway Switchboard Announces August–September Parent Chat Schedule

CHICAGO (July 10, 2006) – The National Runaway Switchboard (NRS), the federally-designated national communication system for homeless and runaway youth, has announced its August and September online Parent Chat schedule for adults to discuss and share solutions to challenges they may be facing with their child.

Parent Chat is a twice a week (8 p.m. CT, Tuesday and 1 p.m. CT, Wednesday), hour-long session hosted and monitored by an NRS Crisis Intervention Specialist who has expertise on the particular topic being discussed. Parents interested in participating in a chat can visit www.1800runaway.org and click on the Parents & Adults tab.

"Parent Chat is designed specifically for parents who may be having a difficult time with their child," said Maureen Blaha, NRS executive director. "Each session provides parents with the opportunity to engage in productive dialogue with other parents, brainstorm solutions and offer a supportive network." Upcoming NRS Parent Chat schedule:


Week 1: Is your teenager having trouble at school?
Discussion surrounding failing grades, conflicts with authority, truancy, etc.

Week 2: Dropping Out
Discussion about youth that threaten to leave school permanently or who are at risk for suspension/expulsion.

Week 3: Alternative Schools
Exploring options for kids having problems staying in school.

Week 4: Bullying
Ways to talk with your teen about the specific issues they face during the school day as well as looking at resources available to stop school harassment.

Week 5: Talking with your Teens about Sex
What resources are available on sexual health? Where can you go to receive health information services and information related to STDs, pregnancy, abstinence, and other related issues.


Week 1: Missing or Runaway Children
What are your rights and what are your child’s rights if they have run away? What will happen to them if they are found? What can you do as a parent?

Week 2: Suicidal Youth
Discussion about youth who have talked about suicide and resources that can help.

Week 3: Alcohol and Drugs
Discussion of youth involved in alcohol and/or drugs. Resources available for counseling and treatment.

Week 4: Sexual Abuse
How your child may be feeling if they have been abused sexually. RAINN hotline discussion.

The National Runaway Switchboard, established in 1971, serves as the federally-designated national communication system for homeless and runaway youth. Recognized as the oldest hotline of its kind in the world, NRS, with the support of more than 150 volunteers, has handled more than 3 million calls in its 35-year history and handles an average of 100,000 calls annually. NRS provides crisis intervention, referrals to local resources, and education and prevention services to youth, families and community members throughout the country 24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Over 10,000 youth have been reunited with their families through NRS’ Home Free program done in collaboration with Greyhound Lines, Inc. The NRS crisis hotline is 1-800-RUNAWAY. For more information, visit www.1800runaway.org.

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