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NOW CLOSED: Child aged 6-19? Please complete a survey - £2 to Railway Children (from Aviva) for each survey completed PLUS VIP rugby tickets to be won...

(57 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 24-Sep-13 11:39:50

We've been asked by the charity Railway Children to carry out a second Mumsnet survey, a year on from first launching our partnership with Railway Children & Aviva to raise awareness of the issue of children running away from home.

The survey should take a few minutes to complete and is open to all UK Mumsnetters with at least one child aged 6-19 years.

For every survey completed, £2 will be donated to Railway Children by Aviva, to support the work the charity does in the UK - please note you can only answer the survey once.

Everyone who takes part and adds their details at the end will also be entered into a prize draw to win VIP rugby tickets (for a family of 4) to attend the Aviva Premiership Final in May at Twickenham on 31st May 2014, courtesy of Aviva (these can be passed on to family or friends if you win but are unable to attend).

If you have more than one child aged 6 to 19, for this survey we'd like you to please answer thinking about just one of these children.

Thanks and good luck with the prize draw.

Here's the link again:


kinkyfuckery Tue 24-Sep-13 15:55:36


EstoyAqui Tue 24-Sep-13 16:33:04

Done. I had no idea the number was so high sad

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 24-Sep-13 18:28:12

thanks all - bump for evening crowd smile

dahville Tue 24-Sep-13 20:10:20

I haven't completed it as my children are younger but wanted to raise the issue of step-children who live with you part-time; I would say most surveys don't account for this situation even though it is fairly commonplace.

Done was quite an eye opener shock

musicposy Wed 25-Sep-13 05:53:15

However it doesn't account for children not in school (one home ed, one in work -it's still legal this year for 17- 19 year olds to be in full time work) so the only box you can tick is "I don't talk to the school/teacher" which gives entirely the wrong idea about the parent's level of involvement in their lives! There should be a not applicable box.

JourneyToThePlacentaOfTheEarth Wed 25-Sep-13 06:56:55

Done. Some shocking stats in there.

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 25-Sep-13 08:24:03

musicposy - fair point - have now added a line so folks skip that Q if their child is not in school. Do you want me to edit your response?

cory Wed 25-Sep-13 10:46:44

One thing that occurred to me: the whole campaign is about telling children how dangerous it is to run away, it kind of seems to act on the assumption that as long as you don't run away everything will be fine.

What it doesn't do is offer any alternatives to a child who is in an untenable positiion: e.g. being sexually abused by a relative or brought up by an emotionally abusive parent.

ZingWantsCake Wed 25-Sep-13 13:05:09


I struggled with the question of more help as in facilities for children who are thinking about running away (if I understood the question correctly! )

would it not be better to improve communication between parents and children, to get counselling?
to me it sounded like if there are places to run away to it will only encourage them do so - not the wanted result I presume?!

I had no idea about the number.

LippyDiDooDah Wed 25-Sep-13 13:12:19


afromom Wed 25-Sep-13 13:12:34


Jux Wed 25-Sep-13 14:44:46

Done. Agree with cory.

SacreBlue Wed 25-Sep-13 17:14:30

Done. Agree with Cory & Zing.

BendyBusBuggy Wed 25-Sep-13 19:19:50


cariadmawr Wed 25-Sep-13 19:29:36

All done dh is gobsmacked amount of kids that run away

FiveExclamations Wed 25-Sep-13 19:53:27

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

looshkin Wed 25-Sep-13 20:19:21

Done, eye opening

BrianTheMole Wed 25-Sep-13 20:51:07


MaeMobley Wed 25-Sep-13 21:34:43


Yas1 Wed 25-Sep-13 22:11:24

Done. Very interesting

mousebacon Thu 26-Sep-13 21:03:17


YDdraigGoch Fri 27-Sep-13 13:21:57


PottyLotty Fri 27-Sep-13 20:48:49

Done. Not something I knew a lot about really considering how high the numbers are estimated to be. blush

freakydeaky Sat 28-Sep-13 14:53:26


Elibean Sat 28-Sep-13 15:50:33


Saracen Sat 28-Sep-13 20:44:49

I was a bit surprised at the definition of "running away" as having spent at least one night away from home without parental permission. It seems to me there is a world of difference in seriousness between a young person having a strop and stomps off to stay in safety with a relative or close friend for a night or two (perhaps even telling their parent where they are going), and living on the streets with no support.

musicposy Sun 29-Sep-13 23:45:32

AnnMumsnet yes please and thank you for taking the time to change it smile

JiltedJohnsJulie Mon 30-Sep-13 14:42:56


caz1010 Mon 30-Sep-13 20:07:19


BetsyBell Mon 30-Sep-13 20:24:00

Thanks for the reminder. Now done.

collette0409 Mon 30-Sep-13 21:15:13

very shock

Oblomov Tue 01-Oct-13 02:56:54


IamHuman Tue 01-Oct-13 04:11:25

Done the same, but have mixed feelings about it being labelled as 'running away'...If a child/young person is witnessing a parent going through (or is himself/herself facing) an abusive, depressing life at home, the so-called epicentre of all things safe and healthy (I seriously doubt that!) , then what are the steps to take to rescue the family from the brink?? In my experience, if a child sees a parent in deep depression, or having suicidal thoughts, does it not impact on the child negatively!? How can we be sure that the authorities will respect the wishes of the child to stay with that parent, despite of emotional suffering?? Sometimes, we need to understand that children have human rights too. I would welcome a chance to talk or discuss this at length as it is something very personal to my own family. Perhaps counselling is the route (although it has not been tried by us as WHOLE a family yet)...

Done and agree with a lot of the comments here about running away and the survey technicalities itself.

Countrywalks Tue 01-Oct-13 08:32:51

Completed. A thought provoking survey. Realised it's certainly an area I haven't discussed as felt there isn't a need but it's really as important as the other biggies to discuss. Best to never feel complacent, we never know with our children, despite solid open relationships ( in our minds). A topic I am now going to cover.

cory Wed 02-Oct-13 12:08:35

Good point made by Saracen.

What about children who take themselves to a refuge/Social Services/other family to keep safe from the dangers of the home?
The way this survey is structured that counts as unsafe "running away", because they haven't got parental permission. Yet don't we all wish that Victoria Climbie and Daniel Pelka could have managed it?

And of course big difference between stropping off to (perfectly reliable) NRP or grandmother over an argument over homework and sleeping on the streets.

mignonette Thu 03-Oct-13 15:21:46


mignonette Thu 03-Oct-13 15:24:16

I see running away as leaving the home because you feel you cannot be there or return to it even if it is for just one night. The feelings this creates in a child can be insidious and damaging in a long term manner. Therefore I agree with the definition. Using the term 'stropping off' can undermine the validity of a child's feelings (regardless of whether they are or not) in their eyes and so I would not use it.


cory Fri 04-Oct-13 10:08:12

yes, mignonette, but which would you see as doing the damage- feeling that you cannot be in your home or acting on that feeling?

do you think a child who is abused but doesn't run away is being less damaged?

or that a child who has to sit through horrendous marital rows is less damaged than one who runs off to a kindly auntie and is brought back once things have calmed down?

as for stropping, yes I get your point, though I have to say there were times in my own adolescence when I knew perfectly well that I was being unreasonable and in a bad mood

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 04-Oct-13 12:26:16

Hi - thanks to everyone who has completed the survey: if you're yet to so, please do - each survey completed raises £2 from Aviva for Railway Children.

Please see below a comment from Railway Children which they wanted me to pass onto you.

"Thanks for sharing some very personal stories and views. Your comments highlight that no matter how caring your parents are, there can be times when young people need to talk to someone outside the family. This is why we fund helplines and also advocate that all young people who run away should be offered a return interview with an independent person. Sadly, recent research has shown that provision is very patchy. (1)

We focus on the dangers of running away, as we know that young people who leave home suddenly after family conflict are particularly at risk, but we also do a lot of work to address underlying causes. This includes one-to-one work with young people, and family support, as we know that if the reasons for running are not dealt with, the young person is likely to end up in a risky situation again. By supporting helplines and preventative work, we also try to ensure that young people have ways of accessing services before things reach crisis point."

(1) Freedom of Information requests by The Children's Society found that less than a third of Local Authorities are providing return interviews for all children who go missing from home, and less than half are providing them for all children who go missing from care.

mignonette Fri 04-Oct-13 13:50:00

Cory I think that damage can happen as a result of both. I would never say that a person running away is somehow 'more' damaged or 'more' at risk. It all depends upon so many things. I can imagine that feeling trapped and unable to run would be awful too.

However I do think that even if we know secretly that a child is 'stropping', that shouldn't be said to the child because as you know, adolescence especially is a time when they are trying on behaviours/decisions for 'size. Demeaning the very real emotions behind an even overly dramatic action like running off can make it harder for a teenager to approach and confide in the future. Not that I am implying that you do this BTW smile.

mymonkey Tue 08-Oct-13 14:18:35

Also done and also agree with Corey and Zing - there really isn't enough early / low-key support for teenagers and parents of teenagers to prevent what are probably fairly normal situations from escalating. Where I have seen this sort of support, funding has been uncertain at best.

sophieandbrendantowinstrictly Tue 08-Oct-13 19:11:32


janajos Tue 08-Oct-13 20:31:41


dublindee Wed 09-Oct-13 00:05:42

Wow. Just completed the survey and some of those stats are heartbreaking

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 11-Oct-13 12:25:02

BUMP: please please complete this survey - we only need a few more respondents and each time someone does it, it raises £2 for Railway Children grin

charitymum Fri 11-Oct-13 19:44:18


I am stunned at the number of children that run away! sad I had no idea.

Dogwalks Sun 13-Oct-13 09:24:47

Just filled this in with my 13year old, was surprised at how many topics we hadn't covered but i used it to open up the conversation with her. Thanks.

BeaverAbroad Sun 13-Oct-13 17:56:56


PedlarsSpanner Mon 14-Oct-13 16:24:27

done this afternoon

GiesAFigginNickname Mon 14-Oct-13 21:29:30


AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 16-Oct-13 12:47:10

bump - still need some more respondents....thanks

AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 22-Oct-13 12:55:39

Hello - thanks for all the responses.

Am pleased to say DanFmDorking has been pulled from the hat and wins the VIP rugby tickets! Well done.

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