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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.

noidles Wed 21-Nov-12 10:52:15

I'm really excited about this campaign, and really pleased to see a company like Aviva involved in this, and pledging to donate £2 for every time someone gets involved in a campaign. What better way to raise awareness really and get people talking, when there's a quick and easy way for people to feel they've made a contribution and helped.

Anyway, my first question is to Andy: considering that there are a huge number of wide ranging reasons that a child might run away, there can be no 'one size fits all' approach to dealing with the issue of child/teen runaways and you must feel as though there's a million and one things that the government could do to help. What are the main solutions you're trying to lobby the government with at the moment? Does it focus more on prevention, or is more about support and rehabilitation once a child has run away? If a child has a challenging background, in some ways it might be easier to anticipate that they might consider running away, but it must be hard to anticipate it if a child appears to be from a nice cosy middle class perfect world. But I could be completely wrong!

noidles Wed 21-Nov-12 11:00:29

My second question is for Charlie: as your organisation deals with child protection and online protection, what connection is there to teenagers/children running away and their online activities. What can be done to help parents? It's hard to know what your teens are doing online when people are constantly connected to the internet now through their phones, tablet computers, laptops, etc. You want to balance protecting your teen, and also giving them the freedom to feel as though you trust them.

kathylilly23 Wed 21-Nov-12 11:01:34

Message deleted by Mumsnet for breaking our Talk Guidelines. Replies may also be deleted.

Bossybritches22 Wed 21-Nov-12 11:07:27

Flow4 well done for spotting that & MNHQ for clarifying the details.

Thank you Aviva for being generous. grin

Elfontheshelfiswatchingyou Wed 21-Nov-12 12:01:35

That is incredibly generous odf Aviva and a real chance for Mumnsnetters to get together and make this thread huge. smile

crazygracieuk Wed 21-Nov-12 12:05:35

One of my children threatens to run away when angry. How do I know if he means it?

Where do children who run away go?

Mograt Wed 21-Nov-12 13:33:27

Excellent. I was one of the three in one posters. Thanks Aviva!

MammyCollins Wed 21-Nov-12 16:29:06

I'd like to know how many children who do 'runaway' are from care. How many from childrens homes and how many from foster parents?


flow4 Wed 21-Nov-12 21:09:21

smile Great! Nice one, Aviva!

RachelMumsnet can you just confirm please: should people ask just ONE question per post from now on?

yellowdomino Wed 21-Nov-12 21:36:55

Are the Railway Children involved with or aware of the issue of trafficked children going missing from care (particularly vulnerable Vietnamese kids)?

If so, how do you propose to address the shoddy treatment they get in comparison to other LAC/ non-migrant children? Is there anything those of us working in related fields can do to help?

flow4 Thu 22-Nov-12 07:48:14

I've had my 3 questions, so I'm just bumping smile

flow4 Thu 22-Nov-12 07:55:39

Oops, I didn't need to bump, did I, cos this thread is 'pinned' to the top of the board, isn't it? blush

HelenMumsnet (MNHQ) Thu 22-Nov-12 14:45:36


smile Great! Nice one, Aviva!

RachelMumsnet can you just confirm please: should people ask just ONE question per post from now on?

Hello, I'm not RachelMumsnet but I do know the answer: yes, one question per post please.

But you can post up to three times (so 3 x £2 raised from Aviva for the Railway Children smile)

MrsHoarder Thu 22-Nov-12 15:08:32

How can children be encouraged to disclose if they think a friend us intending to run away?

Would it be better to ensure secondary age children know about safe places (where they exist) to give them space without them being at risk from gangs/pimps etc?

apismalifica Thu 22-Nov-12 15:11:50

If one of my children came home with a friend who says they have 'run away from home' what should I do? Guess it depends on all sorts of issues like the age, family circumstances (which I may or may not know about) etc, but as a caring adult who is concerned for the child and their family, what should I do? Assume I would try and find out what the problem is first, but must I tell the parents immediately? What about the child wishes if they don't want me to contact their parents?

worldgonecrazy Thu 22-Nov-12 16:49:24

Is there extra support for LGBT runaways?

How can we ensure that the reasons for running away are fixed before returning children?

Smudge588 Thu 22-Nov-12 18:04:48

How do you find a child who has run away?

EdgarAllanPond Thu 22-Nov-12 18:18:08

if a child subject to a custody dispute runs away, how is that handled by the family court?

RedPenny Thu 22-Nov-12 19:57:49

If a child/young person has declared that they have been tempted to run away what help/support can they be offered currently?

Can they access any help/support themselves or can their parent/carer assist them in accessing any help/support?

Should we be teaching children/young people how to keep themselves safe if they do run away?

jimmenycricket Thu 22-Nov-12 20:08:06

What exactly do the police do when a child is reported missing? And what other agencies are involved?

pamelat Thu 22-Nov-12 20:15:55

My cousin and I "ran away" as teenagers

I have and had a loving and happy family life, but a rubbish boyfriend and complicated peer group of friends.

To this day I couldn't really justify why we did it. We were immature, naive and perhaps attention seeking?

We didn't get far as a few hours later trying to catch a train the station staff called the police in to fetch us, thank god!

Obviously we were lucky and I'm not saying that we were typical of most runaways, the ones with real problems to escape from, but what is the definition of a runaway? Were we it, and if so what proportion of runaways are merely naive teenagers seeking solutions to angst?

£4 please in the pot?

Maryz Thu 22-Nov-12 23:10:42

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maryz Thu 22-Nov-12 23:11:32

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Maryz Thu 22-Nov-12 23:13:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

APombearsPicnic Fri 23-Nov-12 13:47:20

When is a child who leaves home and goes to a relatives or friends house classed as a 'Runaway'?

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