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Q&A about running away from home with experts Andy McCullough & Charlie Hedges. Aviva will donate £2 to charity Railway Children for every post - CLOSED

(113 Posts)
RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 19-Nov-12 12:25:42

You may have seen last month that the charity Railway Children is working with Aviva to provide help and support to children who have run away from home, or are at risk of doing so. It's estimated that one child runs away from home or care every five minutes in the UK. They've helped us to build some information on the reasons why children run away and how to spot the warning signs.

We were astounded by your response, with many of you sharing very personal stories and experiences. So many people have been touched by this issue and by sharing your thoughts, you have already helped us raise £18,422 for Railway Children.

Your comments have also raised lots of questions, so to answer everything and anything you'd like to ask - but never previously knew who to go to - about the topic of running away from home, we have invited the following experts to answer your questions:

·         Andy McCullough Head of UK Policy & Public Affairs at Railway Children
·         Charlie Hedges from CEOP, an organisation that deals with child exploitation and online protection

For every (proper & real!) question submitted, Aviva will donate £2 to Railway Children. You can post a maximum of three questions on the thread. Aviva will donate up to £100,000 by the end of 2012 as part of the Mumsnet campaign.

£2 will also be donated for everyone who 'likes' and recommends this thread on Facebook (by clicking 'Recommend' at the top) and if you 'like' any of the articles here

Do please join in, have your questions answered and help that money stack up!

Send your questions for the experts before Sunday 25th November and we'll link to their answers to up to 20 questions from this page on Monday 10th December.

KTK9 Mon 19-Nov-12 21:35:54

I too would be interested in what sort of age a child runs away and also, if a child has spoken about running away, are they more likely to do it.

As a parent, how much should we discuss with children about running away and the help that is out there for them? If it is discussed is there any research to say this helps them not to, or the opposite?

freakydeaky Mon 19-Nov-12 22:06:09

What % of runaway children tell someone (ie a friend) that they're planning to run away before they actually do it?

How many of these children 'run away' to a friend's house, and how best can the parent of the friend help them?

Would it be helpful to have educational talks in schools from the experts?

Whojamaflip Mon 19-Nov-12 22:38:46

Is there any sort of organisation that a child could turn to before they run away? Or somewhere they could go to instead of landing on the streets? (along the lines of refuge for those in dv situations)

Who should we report concerns to if we know of a child who has "threatened" to run away - is it best to tell a carer or is an independent person better?

At what point does a child that maybe just late home become classed as a runaway?

Mograt Mon 19-Nov-12 23:12:21

Are the statistics on runaways collated nationally and desseminated down to all the relevant groups and charities so that they can be put to best use for supporting runaways, potential runaways and their families?

Do the statistics include data on runaways by different ethnic groups and religions and are there specific support networks in place to care for these different groups with adequate knowledge and expertise to offer appropriate advice?

What work is being done to empower local communities to provide support services and groups to nurture their young people and identify problems which may lead to runaways?

notcitrus Tue 20-Nov-12 04:25:33

Where can a child who has or is thinking if running away seek confidential help?
Can any child under 16 be forced to return home by the police/social workers?
If so, where can they seek help if they are desperate not to go home?

riveroise Tue 20-Nov-12 04:50:40

Proportionally, are children that are in local authority care, more likely to run away then children living with their families?

Would a child who ran back to their families from care be considered a "runaway"?

Additionally, do children who live with a step parent more likely to run away then those not living with a step-parent?

flow4 Tue 20-Nov-12 07:29:32

I'm fretting slightly, because people are posting 3 questions at a time, and MNHQ said £2 per post in their headline... confused

flow4 Tue 20-Nov-12 07:38:37

I am thinking there may be two types of runaway: young people who are desperate to escape a home life they can't stand, and young people who go because they are angry about something - maybe something they have not been allowed to do - but who always intend to go home in the end. They are equally vulnerable, but may need different responses.

Can agencies tell these motives apart, and do they work differently with YP and families depending on what they find?

flow4 Tue 20-Nov-12 07:44:19

If a young person doesn't come home at night, at what point should a parent start to panic?

flow4 Tue 20-Nov-12 07:53:46

What support is there for parents whose children have run away, and how do they find it?

ILoveAFullFridge Tue 20-Nov-12 08:15:49

What happens if a runaway child is found, but refuses to give their name, or to be returned home?

mymonkey Tue 20-Nov-12 09:01:35

Are there any things to look out for that indicate a child may be planning to run away?

Who should a parent contact if they suspect that their child may be planning to run away?

Is there any support / guidelines / intervention available to help prevent the running away in the first place?

ILoveAFullFridge Tue 20-Nov-12 09:28:47

If a child I know - a friend's child, or a friend of my child - runs away and comes to me, and they refuse to let me call their parents, what should I do?

Are my responsibilities towards that child different to what they would be if they had come to me with their parents' knowledge?

GooseyLoosey Tue 20-Nov-12 10:22:50

What outcomes do runaways want? Do they want to return to a better home environment, an indendant life or an alternative family environment? What assistance is or should be available to both them and their families to help achieve reasonable outcomes?

flow4 Tue 20-Nov-12 10:33:20

That's a good question, Fridge smile

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 20-Nov-12 11:55:35


I'm fretting slightly, because people are posting 3 questions at a time, and MNHQ said £2 per post in their headline... confused

Sorry this is a bit confusing. We're going to contact Aviva about this later today but for now, can you all please just post one question per post but you can post up to three questions each.

flow4 Tue 20-Nov-12 12:01:14

There are about 30 posts in which people have posted 3 questions. sad I hope Aviva do the decent thing and donate per question not per post.

jennybee1408 Tue 20-Nov-12 12:48:23

Who decides if a child is a runaway - how is this determined

gloriafloria Tue 20-Nov-12 18:06:14

What is the average length of time a runaway child is away from their home before returning?

gloriafloria Tue 20-Nov-12 18:07:10

What is the most commone reason that children who have previously run away give for why they felt they had to run away?

gloriafloria Tue 20-Nov-12 18:09:15

Sorry common

gloriafloria Tue 20-Nov-12 18:11:22

Is it a good idea to bring up the subject of running away to your children to give them information regarding other choices available to them if they are in trouble?

Worley Tue 20-Nov-12 18:25:23

do children who run away confide in a friend before they go? apart from family / personal reasons do they go because of pressure from their friends encouraging them to go? do friends make a pact to run away together?

SecrectFarleysNibbler Tue 20-Nov-12 19:27:07

How are parents and families of these children supported?

RachelMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 21-Nov-12 10:46:59

Just to update you, we've been in touch with Aviva who can see that there may have been some confusion with their pledge, and usually it would be £2 for each individual post (and each mumsnetter can make a maximum of 3 posts). However, they are happy to donate £2 per question for the questions submitted so far. Do keep them coming...

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