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Th is study examined the preceding circumstances of youth that ran from out-of-home care. Youth off ered suggestions for preventing future running episodes. Data was drawn from 111 case records of three county courts in southeastern Lower Michigan. Data were also drawn from four focus groups of youth living in out-of-home care (n=24). Circumstances that preceded youth running included female gender, African- American ethnicity, more restrictive placements, prior running episodes, and separations from siblings and children. Focus group youth expressed concerns about placement disruptions, rules, chores, diff erential treatment, loss of control, safety, and especially, feeling that “no one cares about me.” To prevent running, youth recommended caring adults, helping others, active roles in case planning, knowledge of resources, and maintaining family connections.


Social Work


Previously published by and deposited with permission from the Chance at Childhood Program. Available from the publisher at

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