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Quick Facts: North Carolina

​​​​​Performance Breakdown
  • Law & Policy: 55% of metrics met
    • Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness: 50% of metrics met 

    • Preventing youth experiencing homelessness from coming into contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems: 48% of metrics met 

    • Providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently: 88% of metrics met

    • Addressing the educational needs of youth experiencing homelessness: 33% of metrics met 

    • Allowing youth experiencing homelessness to access critical supports and services: 61% of metrics met 

  • Systems: 72% of metrics met 
  • Environment: 6% of metrics met

State Score 2022: 50
State Ranking 2022: 33

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2022 Score

2021 Score



North Carolina Highlights

A couple of areas where North Carolina has moved the needle relative to other states is in providing youth the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently and creating systems to address the needs of youth experiencing homelessness.


Law & Policy

  • The state allows youth in foster care to access extended foster care services to age 21 under certain circumstances and allows youth who have exited the foster care system after 18 to re-enter through the age of 21.

  • State law does not specifically criminalize running away.

  • State law provides youth experiencing homelessness some contract rights.



  • There is a current state plan to end homelessness that contains a youth-specific strategy component.

  • There is a state interagency council on homelessness.

  • The state provides tuition waivers for foster youth.

  • Youth are able to obtain state-issued identification cards without parental consent.



  • The state establishes protected class status based on one's sexual orientation and gender identity for child welfare programs.

Recommendations for Improvement

There is room for improvement throughout the metrics for the Tar Heel State with an emphasis on law & policy and protecting the rights and interests of youth experiencing homelessness, including LGBTQ youth, should be prioritized.


Law & Policy

  • Enact and fund a state law similar to the federal RHYA to provide key intervention and emergency services for youth experiencing homelessness.

  • The state should allow shelters to take in homeless youth with a delay or waiver of notification requirements.

  • The state should explicitly allow partial and alternative school credit accrual for homeless youth through regulations.

  • Allow unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage on their own.



  • As part of the current state plan to end homelessness include an LGBTQ youth specific strategy component.

  • Create a state entity – such as an Office of Homeless Youth Services – that focuses solely on designing, implementing, and evaluating youth homelessness programs.



  • Require training about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, healthy sexual development, or issues specific to LGBTQ youth for staff working in runaway and homeless youth systems.

  • Promote safe and inclusive environments in child welfare, juvenile justice, and runaway and homeless youth programs by providing protections based on sexual orientation and gender identity.

  • Ban harmful and ineffective service provision that includes conversion therapy.

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