Youth Homelessness continues to be an issue in modern Australia and is illustrative of social inequalities and prejudice in the otherwise labelled well-heeled society. Youth homelessness has been studies from all broad aspects and has several risk factors that precipitate and interact to induce the overall harm (Steen, 2018, pp. 167-168). The risk of homelessness in youth is multifaceted and diverse including factors like family breakdown resulting in neglect, abuse and constant conflicts, history of mental health issues in parents of the child, unemployment, illicit use of drugs and alcohol, poverty, crime and a lack of fixed accommodation (Steen, 2018, pp. 167-168).
With increasing number of homeless clients in Australia, the worrisome figures related to the young people, both of indigenous and non-indigenous origin. Additionally, there have been reported statistics of homelessness extending to non-Australians and refugees ending up in prison or on road deceased. Young people when homeless are ruthlessly being exposed to a myriad of factors that put their mental and physical health at stake. Being devoid of a stable home puts them on road which is sheer way to trauma and injury (Barker, 2016, pp. 668). They are more prone to be affected by medical illness and diseases that comes a part of unhygienic environment, malnutrition, overcrowding and exposure to toxins. Additionally, homelessness induced substance abuse is most common form of illness, later seen as dependence and mental health issues. Several young homeless clients have been involved in crime scenes and were also victims in many (Heerde et al., 2020, pp. 104692).
Once left home, homeless youth may be devoid of traditional social institutions like family and school which are responsible for inculcating social manners, moral values and acceptable human behaviour. However, unfortunate snatch of home and family results in disengagement from community resulting in personalities that are difficult to be approached and managed (Heerde et al., 2020, pp. 104692).
The extend of harm caused by homelessness in youth is expansive and nearly affects all spheres of life. The damage begins at an individual cost, creating havoc in family and loss to the community. Being homeless is detrimental to their physical, mental, social, psychological and cultural health. This harm may continue and surge with time as majority of the youth once homeless has soaring chance of being homeless for a long period or may be forever (Heerde et al., 2020, pp. 560).
It is not difficult to comprehend that homelessness in early life may leave imprints on the youth mind that may become permanent and may become the cause of self-destruction and obliteration. Even when later saved and catered, they may find it hard to adjust and be brought back to the societal life. Hence, this is where the role of the nurse surfaces, where she manages to initiate early intervention using strengths-based approach. The nurse with active participation with the homeless youth can apply principles of strengths-based approach and create a better picture of their future holistically (Australia, 2016).
Applying strengths-based approach with homeless youth
Strengths-based approach is a psychology-based approach that is a key-component of work when dealing with young homeless clients. Strengths-based approach is focused on the perspective that each client has individualistic strengths which are to be critically and strategically culminated in the process of treatment to enhance client outcomes (Cooley et al., 2019, pp. 2036). The nurse must be able to highlight the client’s strengths and potency in the intervention process, as every client is believed to be empowered and enabled. As a part of Strengths-based approach, the nurse needs to identify the existing client strengths alongside creating a room for change by building on the root of client’s strengths (Cooley et al., 2019, pp. 2036).
In strengths-based approach, a strength can be regarded as anything significant and positive that the client is doing, wants to do or can do. Strengths-based approach is an interesting and creating way of assisting homeless young clients by visualising successes and creating room for fresh opportunities in order to redefine self (Krabbenborg et al., 2016, pp. 642). Strengths-based approach has been seen to enable the homeless to be able to disregard their previous daunting experiences and to be able to redirect themselves as new persona. In Strengths-based approach, the preliminary role of the nurse is to recognise and then strengthen the skills and abilities of the client and most importantly, put the capabilities to use in improving the quality of life (Krabbenborg et al., 2016, pp. 642).
As a part of Strengths-based approach, the nurse has a responsibility to aid the homeless young adult in transforming his life into a better one, by utilising their own skills and strengths. The practice of Strengths-based approach in care is an effective means of building on a young person’s success, especially homeless who have been earlier devoid of home and care (Nott & Vuchinich, 2016, pp. 868). The Strengths-based approach is highly provocative and empowering in its nature. By this, it means that it not only does motivates the client to make an effort to recuperate the quality of life but also operate on self-skills and capabilities (Nott & Vuchinich, 2016, pp. 868).
The Strengths-based approach is an empowering approach and is a goal-directed activity. When applied in case of homeless youth, there is encouragement for the client to set goals and work towards the betterment and positive change in life. This is possible because Strengths-based approach enables the nurse and the community to view the homeless not as incapacitated but as knowing, capable and valuable person of society (Craig & Furman, 2018, pp. 170).
The application of Strengths-based approach is important when caring for young homeless clients as youth’s needs differ from all the other age-groups and require help in every sphere of life penetrated by loss of home and family. The nurse can use the Strengths-based approach to cater to the life context and align health care services that fulfil the desires of the youth (Rew et al., 2019, pp. 3).
The nurse has an impeccable role in offering care and treatment to the homeless young client using Strengths-based approach.
The nurse begins the care of the young homeless client with nursing assessment. The nurse initiates formal assessment by gathering client information pertaining to personal factors, demographics, family history, current situation and goals, and history of trauma