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Railway Children - fighting for children alone and at risk on the streets

Railway Children is an international children's charity. It fights for vulnerable children who live alone at risk on the streets, where they suffer abuse and exploitation. In the UK, society often denies their existence, and in other countries the problem is so prevalent that it has become 'normal'.

Here in the UK, Railway Children helps and supports children under 16 who've run away from home, or are at risk of doing so. They also support children after they've returned home or gone back into care. And they help educate young people about the risks of running away and what the alternatives are.

Railway Children provides funding and support to local organisations whose familiarity with their areas means they can quickly identify any new children arriving on the streets. The charity also funds social research to make sure the issue is high on the agenda for Government and policy makers. 

Did you know? In the UK...

  • 100,000 children under the age of 16 run away each year
  • 1 in 12 young runaways are hurt or harmed while they are away
  • 1 in 6 young runaways sleep rough

    *For more information and source detail, please see www.railwaychildren.org.uk.   

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The Reach model is Railway Children's way of supporting and helping children in the UK who feel they have no other choice and may end up living on the street. 

It was created as a result of speaking to over 100 children and young people who had been living rough for more than four weeks in the UK - they said that they felt they often didn't have the services that they needed.

So in reaction to what they said, Railway Children developed the Reach model. It uses seven different strategies to offer support, including one-to-one child outreach, detached streetwork, a local phoneline and family mediation. 

Find out more about the Reach model here. 


Last updated: about 3 years ago