Young boyThe Children's Society's research team has undertaken a series of research projects on the issues faced by young runaways and young people on the streets over the last decade.

Much of this work has been done in partnership with the Social Policy Research Unit at the University of York.

In 1999 the team undertook the first UK study of the needs of young runaways. The first report from the study – Still Running – showed that around one in nine young people run away overnight at some point before the age of 16. It also drew attention to some of the risks faced by young people whilst away from home.

Our later reports, Still Running 2 and now Still Running 3, confirm that the scale of running away has not changed since our first study into this issue.

Still Running 3 (report, campaign summary) provides up-to-date estimates of the numbers and characteristics of children running away in England and new insights into the issue of running away. The study finds a strong link between family change, family conflict and running away. The study also shows that children who run away tend to have poorer-quality friendships, weaker connections with school and lower overall well-being. At least a quarter of children who run away are either harmed or are at substantial risk while away from home, the report shows, and that only a minority are reported missing to the police or seek help from professional agencies while away.

One of the key findings of Still Running 2 was that most incidents of running away appear not to be reported to the police.

The team was commissioned by the former DfES to undertake the first national evaluation of projects working with young runaways. And more recently, it was also commissioned by the former DCSF to undertake a review of emergency accommodation provision for young runaways.

These and other reports are available below:

  • Still Running 3: Early findings from our third national survey of young people, 2011 full report, campaign summary
  • Still Running 2: Findings from the second national survey of young runaways full report
  • Still Running: Children on the Streets in the UK 1999 (full report) Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 Part 5
  • Commissioning, delivery and perceptions of emergency accommodation for young runaways full report
  • Family work at SCARPA report full report
  • SCARPA report full report
  • Sussex ODPM LAC Offending Initiative Research - phase one discussion paper full report
  • Rural Runaways abstract
  • Stepping up: The future of runaways services full report executive summary
  • Review of Runaways Service provided by Durham Social Care and Health Emergency and Family Support Services full report
  • Review of South Coast Runaways Initiative's Experience of Establishing a Flexible Refuge in Torquay full report
  • Safe on our streets full report
  • The Work of Safe on Our Streets with minority ethnic runaways: an analysis of work carried out with four young women from South Asian, Muslim backgrounds full report
  • Dorset Rural Runaways Project (ReRun) full report
  • ROC Project Evaluation report summary
  • Provision for young rural runaways: Report and recommendations based on rural interviews carried out between 1999 and 2003 full report
  • Lost Youth (full report) Part 1 Part 2 Part 3
  • Working with young runaways: Learning from practice summary report
  • Working with young runaways: Learning from practice (full report) Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4
  • Missing Out Young Runaways in Scotland full report
  • Running the Risk Young people on the streets of Britain today summary report
  • Running the Risk: Young People on the streets of Britain today (full report) Part 1 Part 2
  • Hidden Truths summary report
  • Hidden Truths (full report) Part 1 Part 2
  • Supporting the parents of runaways: a review summary report
  • Living on the edge: The experience of detached young runaway full report executive summary
  • Responding to young runaways: An evaluation of 19 projects, 2003 to 2004 full report
  • Young helpline callers and difference: exploring gender, ethnicity and sexuality in helpline access and provision full report
  • Running away in South Yorkshire full report
  • Thrown away: The experiences of children forced to leave home full report