At the Children's Society we have tried to plug this inexcusable gap and now run three of the four refuges in this country.
Young people usually run away to escape traumatic experiences. When they arrive at the refuge they need skilled support which has to be available 24 hours a day. The costs are enormous. We spend around pounds 1m a year, almost all from voluntary donations, and we can afford no more. Statutory services so far have shown no interest, leaving thousands of children at the mercy of predatory adults. It means young runaways are forced on to the streets.
We urgently need a commit-ment from central government to fund a network of refuges to ensure that children most at risk in our society have an escape route from destitution, exploitation and violence.
The Children's Society
London WC1Reuse content