Strategy to protect runaway children in England is not working, says charity

BMJ 2009; 339 doi: (Published 04 November 2009) Cite this as: BMJ 2009;339:b4572
  1. Mark Gould
  1. 1London

    A new report detailing the disturbing stories of young people forced to live on the streets concludes that government strategies to protect the estimated 100 000 people aged under 18 who run away in England each year are failing.

    The report says that the cumulative cost to society for each young person who does not get help in time is at least £1m (€1.1m; $1.6m), a figure it bases on Home Office crime costings and testimony from interviewees.

    In-depth interviews with 103 homeless young people under16 years of age show the extent of sexual and physical violence, drug abuse, and mental trauma, with youths by turns victim and perpetrator.

    Over two thirds of the …

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