The latest statistics on our connections with youth are now available.
The National Runaway Safeline (NRS) has released its 2016 crisis connection and runaway youth statistics.
Annually, NRS publishes program data from the calendar year on our website. We provide the number of crisis calls by state and area code. We also provide a content breakdown of all crisis connections (calls, chats, emails, postings).
Whenever a youth in crisis contacts 1-800-RUNAWAY or 1800RUNAWAY.org or a parent reaches out concerning a youth in crisis, NRS documents the intervention. We ask a few questions about the youth’s circumstances including age, gender, living situation, and means of survival. Our trained frontline team members also track issues discussed and services provided from each connection.
NRS compiles the data in an end-of-the-year report. Last year, data was collected on 33,627 crisis connections, up from 23,276 crisis connections in 2015. The report gives a complete look at the youth served. NRS then can determine services needs and the changing needs of youth themselves from year to year and even over a decade.
If funding is available, NRS contracts a professional researcher to do a deep dive into our program data to look at trends over time. Last year’s trend report looked at data from 2005 to 2015.
Why such a focus on the program data? NRS collects information and publishes the data for a myriad of reasons.
First, we know we are working with a dynamic population.
Not only are the youth we have been serving since 1971, who may be senior citizens, but also the youth served in 2007 that are grown adults, too. Over time, the means through which youth learn about 1-800-RUNAWAY have changed.
Fifteen years ago, a phone book would have been the #1 referral source. Our 2016 statistics tell us 67% of contacts found us through the internet. Only 1% report using a phone book or directory services last year.
Sixteen and 17-year-olds have historically been the highest percentages of youth connecting to NRS. Today, we are presently seeing younger youth connecting to services, especially digital services (emails, chat, forum).
- In 2016, 8% of crisis connections were made by youth 13 years old or younger.
- We also saw 50% of our crisis connections connecting to NRS from home.
This trend suggests youth are seeking help before they run away. The 2016 crisis connection statistics also told us these important facts:
- Seventy-four percent of the crisis connections were made by the youth in crisis, 9% by the parent of a youth in crisis and 6% by the friend of a youth in crisis.
- Family dynamics was an identified issue in 35% of the crisis connections.
- Abuse (emotional, verbal, physical, sexual) and neglect were an identified issue in 22% of the crisis connections up from 18% in 2015.
- Of runaway and homeless youth, 45% reported being on the street for 1-3 days, 21% reported being on the street for 1 to 6 months.
- Nearly 400 Home Free tickets were issued to transport youth home or to an alternative living arrangement through NRS’ program done in conjunction with Greyhound Lines, Inc.
A year of program data helps us understand today’s youth and anticipate changing trends. It provides NRS with an internal assessment of service delivery and of the changing youth population. Check out the complete report at 2016 crisis connection statistics.
NRS also publishes statistics and research on our website because we are the go-to resource for information about runaway and homeless youth. We want to raise awareness of the runaway and homeless youth crisis and the issues that young people face.
We want to provide all the resources to help tell the story of youth in crisis.