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Services for runaway children

Runaway child

Reducing the number of young runaways in London

Running away is a sign that something is seriously wrong in a young person’s life. Children who run away face significant immediate and long term risks.

Our aim is to reduce the number of first time and repeat incidents of young people running away from home, care or schools in the London Boroughs of Enfield, Southwark and Lewisham.

We have considerable experience of working with young runaways and have been running a dedicated runaways service in Enfield since February 2009. We also launched an additional runaways service for Southwark in 2014 and for Lewisham in 2016. 

Our runaways service

We provide independent, high quality face-to-face support for vulnerable children up to the age of 18, who have been reported missing or have ran away from home, care or education, and their families. We do this by:

  • Identifying and dealing with any harm the child may have suffered whilst absent, including harm that might not have already been disclosed to the police.
  • Working with the young person and their family to understand and address the reasons why the child or young person ran away. We do this using tools such as the Independent Return Home Interview within 72 hours of the young person being found or returning home.
  • Providing on-going one-to-one support to prevent further running away. This kind of support also helps increase the young person’s attendance at school and identify children at risk of sexual exploitation.

What we can offer local authorities in London

We are now able to offer joint funding to local authorities in London in the first year wanting to develop their own dedicated runaways service.

We hope that by sharing the costs in year one, more local authorities will be able to gather the evidence they need to secure long term funding to support this vulnerable group of young people.

This is a great opportunity for London local authorities to work with us and access our knowledge and experience of running services for runaways. This project was possible thanks to the support of Oak Foundation.

Contact us today if you would like more information on our runaways service.