Innovative Housing Solutions: A Research Study on Runaway, Foster, and Homeless Youth

Numbers of runaway, foster, and homeless youths are on the rise with not enough emergency shelters, missions, foster homes, or volunteer locations to take them in. It is time to address the underlying causations and factors resulting in the high numbers of runaway, foster, and homeless youth rather than the aftermath. Please click below to read though my proposed research design on how to obtain statistical information on the underlying factors to begin understanding what is causing this epidemic.

Multi-Collaborative Housing Proposal 1


Human Trafficking: Senior Capstone Project

Advocating for the voiceless has always been a passion of mine, however, this semester that took on a new meaning. Two years ago I delved into the research world on homeless youth which led me to human trafficking and it is there that my journey to advocating for victims of human trafficking began. Please take a moment and review my PowerPoint presentation and the macro-level change paper to provide additional information. Here you will find valuable information about how human traffickers are using social media applications to lure and trap unsuspecting adolescents by exploiting vulnerabilities.

Human Trafficking Change Process

Senior Capstone


Human Trafficking: Background Information

One of the most common questions I am asked when speaking about human trafficking is  “Why don’t they just leave?” The question sounds simple right, why don’t they leave but the reality is, human trafficker’s use methods similar to terrorist interrogation methods. Please view the PowerPoint for an in-depth explanation of the criminal mind of a human trafficker.

The Criminal Element in Human Trafficking

Breaking the Cycle of Abuse: A Preliminary Research Study

Yaghoubi-Doust, M. (2013). Reviewing the Association between the History of Parental Substance Abuse and the Rate of Child Abuse. Addiction & Health, 5(3-4), 126-133. Retrieved June 20, 2015                                                                                       

The author, Mahmoud Yaghoubi-Doust, a Ph.D. student in the department of Sociology at the Islamic Azad University in Shoustar, Iran researched the effects of parental substance abuse as it relates to domestic child abuse. The author’s method of conducting research was through a case study using parents with a history of substance abuse and parents with no known history of substance abuse and the likelihood that domestic violence would occur. The author does an excellent job in identifying the reasons that substance abuse causes domestic violence such as changes in the addict’s mood and behavior and the direct impact that has on violence. The study also pointed to evidence indicated a direct link between addiction and an increase in divorce rate poverty, spousal abuse and unemployment which are all direct links to domestic child abuse. The author, however, does not discuss issues that are prevalent to resolving these issues only highlighting the causation.

Willis, R., M., & Wilson, M. (2008). Improving Detection and Quality of Assessment of Assessment of Child Abuse and Partner Abuse is Achievable with a Formal Organizational Change Approach. Journal of Pediatrics and Child Health, 44(3), 92-98 Retrieved June 24, 2015, from                                                                                      http://doi:10.1111/j.1440-1754.2007.01276x

The authors of this article, Russell Wills, Miranda Ritchie, and Millie Wilson are on the Hawkes Bay Board of Health at the hospital in New Zealand. The purpose of the article was to increase the detection of child abuse and assessment in a health service setting. The method used for this study incorporated programs from within the hospital including senior management, executive leadership teams, local law enforcement, outside sources such as Ministry of Health, Women’s Refuge, and all support staff not only internal but external as well had been trained and provided with materials on child abuse detection. The study utilized clinical audits from the records of CYFS (abused women) that presented in the Emergency Room. After reviewing the audits and other materials it became apparent there was, in fact, a direct link between spousal abuse and domestic child abuse. The authors then began to implement a program throughout the hospital to implement training at all levels for its staff and outside agencies for reporting and to patients for confidential assistance if they needed services. This article provides an excellent example of the National Child Welfare Workforce Institute policy on partnership, it reflects their ability to work with outside agencies as well as with collaborating with the parents and staff at all levels.

Osofsky, J.D. (1999). The Impact of Violence on Children. The Future of Children, 9(3), 33. Retrieved July 11, 2015, from

The author of this article Osofsky J.D. looks at the impact of violence on children. Osofsky looks not only at the relevance of spousal abuse and its impact on child abuse but the direct link to media violence, community violence, where children grow up such as low-income neighborhoods and finally concludes with the characteristics of parents who are not capable of being effective parents due to exposure to spousal abuse and the reasons behind their inability to parent. The author addresses the abused parent’s emotional unavailability to their children, parents who are victims are not able to help their children who have witnessed these tragedies and are very likely to be victims themselves. Osofsky also reports abused parents feel anxious and depressed making them unavailable when their children need those most and that these parents need services to assist their children and prevent additional exposure and victimization to children. The article shows the NCWII need for diversity, this is explained in the article when working with individuals across various income and ethnic backgrounds. This article did a fantastic job covering all the key areas and ramifications that occur to children from violence.

Sifo L.G., & Masango, M. J. (2014). The Impact of Spousal Violence on the Children: A Pastoral Care Approach. Hervormde Teologise Studies, 70(2), 1-7, Retrieved July 11, 2015, from                                       

The authors of this article are pastoral therapists and ordained ministers with a large Christian denomination in South America. The method used for this article is through a case study of a family that was exposed to severe violence and then followed this family into adulthood and found these children’s symptoms compared to those who had suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder. The authors himself from the effects of domestic violence and child abuse growing up; the goal of the article is to provide other pastoral trauma therapists with the necessary skills to aid these victims. The article takes us through the case study from the eyes of the child and gives the reader the ability to understand why there are so many psychological effects on children who merely witness the events. The authors continue to give information pertaining to how many abusers will turn the children into victims and began to abuse them emotionally, physically, and sometimes sexually. The authors go into detail about the lifelong impact of violent exposure and victimization to youth such as anxiety, social withdraw, bedwetting, illnesses, exhibiting aggressive behavior and running away from home to mention a few examples. The authors conclude the article with several recommendations, however, the one most prominent are community involvement and support for the abused spouse and children. That as a church community there needs more to be done to help these victims find healing and resources so they are empowered and can ultimately find a path to a better life. This article is a prime example of why social workers need to utilize NCWII culture responsiveness policy in their practices, this article was written in South America and these customs of battering spouses comes with them to America.

Little, P. L., & Bogel, C. M. (1998). The Effects of Spousal Abuse on Children: Awareness for Correctional Educators. Journal of Correctional Education, 49(1), 30-39 Retrieved on July 15, 2015

The authors Patricia Little Ph.D. and Cherie Bogel conduct a study of 37 school-aged children whose mothers had sought help from a local battered woman’s shelter. The purpose of the study was to determine the difference from if the damage from children who were victims of domestic child abuse only vs children who witnessed their mothers being abused warranted defining spousal abuse as a form of psychological abuse to the child. After conducting the study and reviewing all the information the authors did, in fact, determine there is significant data to warrant spousal abuse as a form of psychological abuse. The authors also go into detail about the difficulties this will place on child welfare workers as child maltreatment is a broad term and that psychological and emotional abuse is challenging to define. The authors go into detail explaining the various aspects of behaviors children display at various ages and genders to assist with this issue of identifying children who are suffering the effects of this type of abuse. This article is an excellent example of the NASW ethical principle on social justice. The authors do an excellent job assisting the social service workers in defining aspects of victims who have suffered psychological and emotional abuse.

Koshland, D. E., Jr. (1994). The Spousal Abuse Problem. Science, 265(5171), Retrieved July 21, 2015, from                                                                         

The author of this article Daniel Koshland Jr. writes an investigative report pertaining to spousal abuse, the reasons behind why women don’t leave the abusers and some workable solutions. Koshland begins by explaining that in the Unites States at the time the article was written spousal abuse was receiving much public attention and that it was evident that legal action was needed. At the time, more scientific study needed to be conducted prior to this legislation occurring. The author tells us that in 1992 29% of the women that were murdered in the United States were in fact murdered by their husbands or ex-boyfriends or a man they had dated. It is common for an ex-boyfriend to turn into a stalker and at that time there were no laws against this. Koshland addresses the cultural issues associated with why women stay for example, in other cultures they have a code where the men can command and control the wives. While in the United States that is not acceptable the men don’t change their customs and the women out of fear don’t leave. The author provides us with other examples of why women stay such as economic insecurity/dependence, home preservation, separation from her children and flat out fear. The author suggests counseling and legislation as the beginning phases to assist in providing a remedy for the situation. The NCWII addresses these issues of culture through culture responsiveness training, the author does an excellent job in providing the reader detailed information about the culture differences in a sensitive yet straightforward manner.

Giving Back: Volunteer Work

  • Prairie Estates: Resident Assessments, Facilitated Resident Council, Participated in Resident Activities
  • Farmers Market: Advocacy, Community Organizing, Relationship Building
  • Sioux Falls Gospel Mission: Ministry Services, Sorted Clothing, Relationship Building
  • Pine Ridge Reservation: Assisted with building a community recreation gym
  • Big Springs Baptist Church: Youth Ministries, CYF & JYF Programs
  • Akron-Westfield CSD: IEP, History Day, and Volunteer Chaperone
  • Human Trafficking Advocacy:
    • MVP Summit-West, East, and North high school students
    • Social Media-East and North middle school students
    • Red Sand Project: SDSU students and parents from Matthews Dorm,
    • Change Opportunity: Created a brochure titled “Human Trafficking: How to Protect Yourself on Social Media”