New York, NY –
A third of homeless youth have either been in foster care, group homes or other types of institutional settings for an average of 4 years.
REPORTER: That's according to a report by researchers at Columbia University and the Covenant House Institute. In addition, institute director Bruce Henry says one in five reported being beaten by an object.
HENRY: They were hit with a pipe, a bat...That's kind of striking. I don't know that on a daily basis we look at the kids that way but you realize that that level is really quite high.
REPORTER: Henry says the report will be used to shape public policy and educate state legislators about why funds for homeless youth services are crucial.
The report also shows 68 percent of homeless youth lacked a high school diploma. And 21 percent say they take medication to help with feelings and behaviors.
More than 400 youth staying at a Covenant House shelter were interviewed for the report.