The Children's Society launches new guide for parents and carers of young runaways

11 March 2013

A new guide to help parents and the carers of children, who may be at risk of running away from home, is being launched by The Children’s Society.

The guide offers a range of advice, from what questions parents and carers will be asked by the police, to what to do when their child returns and why young people run away. 

Tina Fellstrom, Retail Operations Manager at The Children’s Society, said: 'The guide will be invaluable to all parents and carers. By having regular contact with the public, and through raising awareness of the issue, our shops can play a pivotal role in giving people the support they need in an emergency.'

The guide, What to do if your child goes missing, includes contributions from the parents of children who have run away from home and will be trialled in three of the charity’s retail stores in London, Tyne and Wear and Nottinghamshire.* A national rollout to the charity’s other shops is expected later in the year. 

Nationally, one child every five minutes runs away from home and two-thirds are not reported to the police.  Research by The Children’s Society also reveals that a quarter of young runaways are forced to leave home, often fleeing violence, abuse and chaos at home.  While on the streets they are at risk of physical abuse and sexual exploitation.

Last year, The Children’s Society launched the Runaways Charter, which sets out clear protocols for local authorities, for preventing running away and dealing with incidents as soon as they happen.  The charity is calling on councils in England to sign up to the charter to protect the 100,000 children who run away every year. 


The guide will be trialled in The Children’s Society’s retail stores in New Ollerton, Nottinghamshire; Houlton le Spring, Tyne and Wear and West Hampstead, London. 
For more information about The Children’s Society’s Runaways Charter, part of the charity’s Make Runaways Safe campaign, visit


Media enquiries

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Notes to editors

  • The Children’s Society wants to create a society where children and young people are valued, respected and happy. We are committed to helping vulnerable and disadvantaged young people, including children in care and young runaways. We give a voice to disabled children, help young refugees to rebuild their lives and provide relief for young carers. Through our campaigns and research, we seek to influence policy and perceptions so that young people have a better chance in life.
  • For more information about The Children’s Society’s Runaways Charter, part of the charity’s Make Runaways Safe campaign, visit