April 7, 2014
CCC testified about the importance of data collection for runaway and homeless youth and sexually exploited youth at the New York City Council Youth Services and General Welfare Committees Oversight Hearing on April 25, 2014.
In order to have enough resources to better meet the needs of runaway and homeless youth and sexually exploited youth in New York City, it is critical that we not only continue existing efforts to quantify the number of these vulnerable youth and their needs, but to also expand and modify the methodology to better ensure accuracy. Due to the needs of these youth, the locations youth may find to sleep if they are indeed homeless, and the fact that not all youth will feel comfortable disclosing they have been sexually exploited, it will be exceptionally difficult to have a totally accurate count.
That said, the data collection methods to date have provided us with valuable information about the scope of the problem and the needs of the youth. For example, the youth identified in the Youth Count said they had been homeless for an average of 927 days—and exceptionally long time. And in just the first year of Local Law 23 implementation, DYCD and ACS identified 458 sexually exploited youth.