Based on current work with young runaways this survey looks, in particular, at the work of four Children's Society projects in Leeds, Manchester, Birmingham and Gwent. The report examines the causes of running away and the problems face by those who run - some of them as young as 11 years old. It has been revealed that children run away for different reasons: abuse and neglect, changes in family relationships, lack of support or parenting and economic stress - to name a few - and each of these different circumstances may require a different response. The book examines the complex issue from the perpectives of three main groups involved - young people themselves, Children's Society staff and professionals from a variety of agencies who have had contact with young runaways. All aspects of running away are looked at, from identifying those young people who are most likely to run away and discussing why they do so, to evaluating the role of projects designed to help them.
It appears that a number of broader social policy issues are implicated, including education and the lack of social status of under 16s living away from home, with nowhere to live, no legitimate source of income and ano link inot state services. The research identifies the need to cater for young people's short-, medium-, and long-term needs through a combination of prevention and mediation work, via facilities such as school and youth clubs, and by providing contact, refuge, advice and counselling to young people.