Our work in the UK
The rail network is like a magnet, attracting vulnerable children and young people and offering a place to go to instead of home or a place to hide, as well as access to trains that can be used to escape, run away or sometimes travel to meet new people.
But they can also attract those looking to exploit the vulnerable such as County Lines Gangs, drug runners, those involved in child sexual exploitation and trafficking. These predators are determined and skilled at seeking out, befriending and grooming young people who will then be subjected to exploitation and abuse.
That’s why we make sure to reach them first. Our work focuses on identifying those at risk, early intervention and preventing harm - transforming children’s lives, and optimising their life chances before it’s too late.
Safeguarding on Transport
Our Safeguarding on Transport programme was born out of our relationship with the rail industry and a partnership with British Transport Police.
They were recording around 10,000 vulnerable children using the railways every year with no mechanism in place to support them.
So they came to us.
The relationships we have across the sector mean we are in a unique position to mobilise the rail industry to commit to safeguarding these children. The Safeguarding on Transport programme is our way of doing that. We want to ensure that if a vulnerable child is finding sanctuary on the railway or is being exploited in some way as they use it, then a responsible adult somewhere will intervene and that will trigger some support that can help the child beyond responding to that one incident.
The Safeguarding on Transport programme is made up of three elements that work together to build a safety net for vulnerable people. Stepping in and giving the right support to a vulnerable young person can mark a turning point in their lives and the rail network provides a unique environment to identify and offer these life changing opportunities.
To achieve this, we work at three levels.
More information about our UK work...
Our partnership with British Transport Police
We work with BTP to spread awareness of how to identify and protect those that are in danger on the network, including children involved in county lines, or those with mental health issues.
Our work with rail industry partners
Our programme is designed to make sure vulnerable children are more easily spotted and supported on the rail network that the right support is offered at the right time.
Safeguarding on Rail Scheme
The Safeguarding on Rail Scheme was developed by the Department for Transport and British Transport Police in response to increasing numbers of vulnerable people on the rail network.
Information for young people
How Railway Children can help and other sources of free, confidential support.
Advice for adults
Guidance for parents, carers and other adults, and how to spot the signs of children at risk.
Information for professionals
More detail on our Safeguarding on Transport projects and our UK teams.