What are Safeguarding on Transport projects?

Railway Children is a children’s charity that has been supporting children in the UK and internationally for 25 years. In the UK we are the only children’s charity working directly with British Transport Police (BTP) to support young people who are found to be vulnerable on the rail network.

British Transport Police Officers will refer young people they feel are at risk. This may include being involved with county lines, going missing, exploitation concerns, struggling with their mental health and at risk of harm.

In 2020/21 9,876 vulnerable young people were reported to BTP for many reasons including, going missing, being exploited, involved in county lines, feeling suicidal, involved in abuse and harm etc.

Sadly, the number rises each year.

Our work is focused on areas which consistently generate high numbers of safeguarding reports.

How we work

Our project workers take referrals directly from BTP for young people aged 10 to 17 who have been identified as at risk. Workers assess the young person’s situation, establish whether they need further support, and identify who is best placed to provide this.

We support young people who may be going through a tough time with their emotional wellbeing, those feeling isolated and those who have been found at risk at stations, on trains and on tracks across our four project areas. (Northwest of England, Yorkshire and Humberside, London & The West Midlands.)

The next step

Our project workers can then visit young people and their families to provide direct support sessions along with advocacy and advice, we liaise with other professionals and help with issues around education, health, safety, and wellbeing.

We can then work together for a number of weeks or months depending on what you need and want. Our staff are experienced youth workers, teachers, family workers and social workers who engage directly with young people and families using a solution focused and person-centred approach to help make positive changes.

Issues those referred to us are dealing with can include...

  • Running away
  • Mental health
  • Suicidal thoughts
  • Drug use
  • Alcohol abuse
  • Child sexual exploitation
  • Drug running
  • Victims of crime
  • Grooming
  • Bullying
  • Domestic violence
  • Neglect
  • Being in care
  • Lack of support
  • Isolation
  • Poor parenting
  • Trespassing
  • Sexual abuse
  • Emotional abuse
  • Unhealthy friendships & relationships
  • Perpetrator of crime
  • Anti-social behaviour
  • Trafficking
  • County lines

Our staff

  • All staff have a current DBS and these details are available should you need them.
  • Staff come with a wealth of knowledge and skills having over 10 years’ experience working in this field with young people and families.
  • Staff are trained in relevant areas relating to safeguarding, child protection and issues affecting the young people we meet.
  • We are experienced in being involved in Child Protection Conferences, LAC Reviews, Core Groups etc.
  • We use a solution-focused approach to supporting young people and families to make changes, improvements and equip them to manage and continue to make changes when our work together comes to an end.
  • A support plan is created with the young person using Teen Star and this work is reviewed and mapped to demonstrate what areas of support are needed, where issues are not improving but also to celebrate success and change.
  • Our aim is to support young people for as long as support is needed, this is as long as we are making a difference and that young people and families want to work with us.
  • We can offer weekly sessions to young people either meeting the young person at home, school or in the community.
  • Regular contact/updates will be given to any professionals working any young person referred to us.
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