Over 10 per cent of all Scottish children run away from home
before the age of 16 years, according to startling new research by
Aberlour Child Care Trust.
The report, ‘Missing Out’, the first of its kind to look at
Scottish children only, is based on research carried out by Jim
Wade of York University, involving over 3,000 young people and 40
other agencies in six contrasting areas of Scotland.
It found that 11 per cent of all Scottish children run away from
home, and most to escape abuse or harm.
The earlier a child runs away the more likely he or she is to
run away repeatedly. Many of the children interviewed also reported
being abused while forced to live. The study was published on the
day the Aberlour Child Care Trust launched ‘Running – Other
Choices (ROC) project’.
The ROC project is the first in Scotland to concentrate
exclusively on young runaways. It is an initiative designed to
assist young people who run away, or are at risk of running away,
and aims to find solutions to the circumstances which caused this
Speaking at the launch of the new project, Romy Langeland, trust
chief executive, said: “The ROC Project is a vital step towards
helping Scotland’s young people. Our research has proved that
young people are running away from something rather than running to
Langeland called for services to be set up across the country
and said: “Running away is now a national phenomenon and we are
providing a service whereby these vulnerable young people have
someone to turn to.”
Cathy Jamieson, minister for education and young people,
welcomed the study and said: “Many of the young people in this
research said they ran away because they had no-one to talk to. It
is a timely lesson to us all to listen to young people before it is