New groups boost runaways campaign

The campaign for better services for runaway children was boosted this week by the creation of an all-party parliamentary group and a coalition of charities to lead on the issue.

The all-party group, which will be chaired by long-standing campaigner Labour MP Helen Southworth, was due to hold its first meeting yesterday (Wednesday), attended by education secretary Alan Johnson.

Meanwhile, the Children’s Society, Runaway Helpline, the Railway Children and Get Connected have forged an alliance to co-ordinate their efforts for runaways and are inviting others to join.

The moves follow a Commons debate last week in which children’s minister Beverley Hughes said more action should be taken to ensure local authorities and others addressed runaways’ needs.

She revealed she had held talks with the Children’s Society and Southworth about the possibility of updating existing best practice guidance for councils.


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