Charity pinpoints runaways risk

Children who drop out of school before the age of 16 are at
increased risk of running away from home, a report by the
Children’s Society warns.

Almost half of the 21 young homeless people interviewed for the
research had dropped out of education before reaching 16 – yet this
fact had failed to trigger early intervention from agencies, it

Most of the young people, aged 13 to 21, had experienced high
levels of abuse and conflict at home, but for almost half there had
been no agency involvement prior to them running away.

Though some had slept rough in parks and doorways, many stayed with
informal networks of friends, unwittingly placing themselves at
risk. Most had stolen to survive, although some had resorted to
selling sex or consenting to sex with older boyfriends.

Children’s Society’s chief executive Bob Reitemeier said: “No child
should have to resort to prostitution, drugs and crime to survive
in Britain today. We need to act now to ensure they have somewhere
safe to stay.”

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