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Pathways Into Couchsurfing From Child Safety Involvement


Katie Hail-Jares, Rhianon Vichta-Ohlsen


Couchsurfing, or temporarily staying with friends, extended family, acquaintances, or strangers, is a growing form of homelessness within Australia, and particularly concentrated among youth. System involvement with child welfare and its link to youth homelessness has previously been well-established, but not within the context of couchsurfing. In interviews with 19 young people with both couchsurfing and a history of system-involvement, we identify and describe six different pathways into couchsurfing. These pathways extended from the beginning to the end of their child safety involvement, and demonstrate how fear of reprisal for reporting, fear of out-of-home-care, and lack of transition planning pushed-or-pulled young people into couchsurfing.

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