RESEARCH BRIEF #2 – Support Systems for Youth: How to Maximize Youth’s Networks in Prevention Efforts

Youth Homelessness Prevention Community of Practice

For youth at risk of homelessness, social network characteristics are an important determinant of social and health experiences and outcomes – both in positive and detrimental ways. Studies examining youth at-risk of homelessness have shown that the individuals comprising youth’s social networks can influence motivations to seek and access support services (e.g., Anamika Barman-Adhikari & Rice, 2014); experience social and health adversities (e.g., Begun et al., 2016; Begun et al., 2020; Slesnick et al., 2021); and influence resiliency (e.g., Kidd & Shahar, 2010). In the effort to prevent homelessness for youth at risk, therefore, it is important to understand how youth’s network composition and engagement can support or harm their trajectories and what can be done to strengthen positive connections.

This research brief shares recommendations from the research to strengthen these key relationships in supporting youth at-risk.

Publication Date: 
Canadian Observatory on Homelessness Press