Councils improving performance on runaways

Local authorities in England have improved their information gathering and protocols on runaways but prevention work remains underdeveloped, according to figures from the Department for Children, Schools and Families.

Councils were asked to rate themselves on five key criteria: how information on runaways is gathered; local needs anyalysis; procedures to meet the needs of runaways; protocols for responding to urgent referrals from police or other agencies; and effective needs assessment protocols to support prevention and intervention work.

The statistics showed overall improvements in all the categories since October 2008 but those in prevention work were small. Councils in all parts of England had improved except in the East of England where scores remained level. Derbyshire, Leicestershire and Enfield in North London scored the highest.

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