Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness: 42% of metrics met
Preventing youth experiencing homelessness from coming into contact with the criminal and juvenile justice systems: 24% of metrics met
Providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently: 100% of metrics met
Addressing the educational needs of youth experiencing homelessness: 100% of metrics met
Allowing youth experiencing homelessness to access critical supports and services: 56% of metrics met
Systems: 78% of metrics met
Environment: 12% of metrics met
State Score 2020: 50
State Ranking 2020: 25
Some areas where Tennessee has moved the needle relative to other states include providing unaccompanied youth experiencing homelessness the opportunity to seek legal independence and live independently and addressing the educational needs of youth experiencing homelessness.
Law & Policy
The state gives minors contract rights OR allows them to enter into binding contracts for certain purposes (e.g. necessities).
The state explicitly allows partial and alternative school credit accrual for homeless youth through regulations.
There is a current state plan to end homelessness.
The state plan has a "youth" component.
There is a state entity (Office of homeless youth services, homeless youth state coordinator, commission on homeless youth, etc.) that focuses solely on youth homelessness.
Recommendations for Improvement
There is room for improvement throughout the metrics for the Volunteer State, with emphasis on the Law & Policy and Environment categories. Laws authorizing comprehensive supports and services for youth experiencing homelessness and protecting the rights and interests of youth experiencing homelessness, including LGBTQ youth, should be prioritized.
Law & Policy
The state should pass a law that funds and provides oversight and regulation to youth homelessness services.
The state should decriminalize running away as a status offense.
The state should allow shelters to take in youth experiencing homelessness with a delay or waiver of notification requirements.
The state should explicitly allow unaccompanied youth under 18 to apply for health insurance coverage without parental consent.
The State Department of Transportation should put systems in place to address proof of residency requirements to receive a state-issued ID card and allow minors to obtain state-issued ID without parental consent.
The state should require training about sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, healthy sexual development or issues specific to LGBTQ+ youth for staff working in RHY Systems.
The state should establish nondiscrimination protections for LGBTQ+ youth in youth homelessness services.
The state should establish and maintain a stipended community advisory board for youth that informs youth homelessness policy (Youth Action Board).
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