Children run away or are forced to leave homes where violence, abuse, and neglect have become part of their daily lives. They also run to escape common problems such as bullying, relationship issues, loneliness and family breakdown. 

Children on the UK's streets

The problems on the street are often worse than those they endured at home, with violence, drugs, sexual abuse and exploitation never far away. 

Watch this short film to find out more about the risks children face on the streets.

Using research

Our Reaching Safe Places Research told us that conflict in family relationships is a frequent cause of running away. Young people said that having someone to talk to is often of greater importance than having a safe place.

Family work and one-to-one support are key elements of our programme delivery. Providing one-to-one support for young people addresses the reasons they ran away, while family work can improve relationships and reduce conflict. Both of these methods are effective in achieving long-lasting, positive outcomes.

The services we know are needed

The services we know are needed

We have also been providing services specifically for 16 to 17-year-olds as research has shown there is not adequate support available for this vulnerable group. By working with this age group, we can help them access appropriate support and reduce the time spent sofa-surfing or putting themselves at risk.

Our latest research is an analysis of the value of Return Home Interviews and follow-up support for young people who have been missing, using Social Return on Investment (SROI) methods.