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For the price of a pack of cigarettes Andy McCullough, National strategy and policy advisor, The Railway Children.

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Presentation on theme: "For the price of a pack of cigarettes Andy McCullough, National strategy and policy advisor, The Railway Children."— Presentation transcript:

1 For the price of a pack of cigarettes Andy McCullough, National strategy and policy advisor, The Railway Children

2 Rights b b If you have come to help me, you are wasting your time, But if you come because your liberation is bound with mine, Then let us work together. ~Lila Watson, Aboriginal Australian

3 So who is this outsider? ~Involved in Social care for over 20years. ( including managing drugs services, mental health, youth work) ~Expert witness Victoria climbie enquiry. ~National policy and strategy advisor- Railway Children. ~Lecturer post grad Social work. ~Consultant child protection- consortium for street children. ~Involved in work with runaways for a number of years. ~Chair for English Coalition for Street children. ~Sits on national oversight group. ~ General Blagger.

4 Who are Railway children? b b In operation 13 years, across India, Russia, Tanzania, Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Guatemala, working with and on behalf of street children. b b 5 years ago looked to invest in U.K. with children and young people that runaway. Currently that is R.O.C., National Runaways Helpline, Street work U.K., A.S.T.R.A., Get Connected, Talk Dont Walk, Safe at Last. b b Launching research in 2009, focus on children and young people who have runaway and stayed missing for over 4weeks. ( research covers all of UK)

5 Social capital Bridging extended family and friends Bonding family Linking external organisations Poverty H.I.V Human Rights Conflict Governance Environmental disaster

6 England's street children b Running away not a new phenomena. b Many large charities built on saving street children. ( EG.TCS) b Street Arabs, Urchins, Orphans. b Josephine Butler- Contagious diseases act. b Not just Over there.

7 Context to running away b b Nationally-100,0 00 CYP under the age of 16 runaway from home. b b 52% returned home after one night away. b b 1 in 6 slept rough. b b 1 in 12 are hurt or harmed b b In 2007 only 12% of LA said they had services ad responses ( stepping up tcs)

8 The issue b b 67% of young people who stay with a stranger will get hurt. b b Females more likely to run than males. b b 30% of young people who runaway overnight do so before 13

9 The issue cont… b b 1 in 10 before 11 b b Children with learning disabilities and other forms of disability are 20% more likely to runaway. b b Longer they are more likely to adopt survival strategies. b b Runaways under 16 are more likely to have problems with drugs and more likely to be in trouble with the police than their peers. b b 80% of runaways got no help b b 65% overnights missing not reported b b Only 11 refuge beds I thought he was just being friendly, I had no where else to go, I was passed round like a rag doll yw 13

10 Cont……………. b 65% of CYP that ran overnight not reported !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

11 Why do young people runaway? ?

12 Why do children runaway? b b Physical, emotional and sexual abuse b b Bullying b b Family conflict/being thrown out b b Trouble with the police b b Racism b b Pregnancy b b Peer pressure b b Emotional deficit

13 What do young people gain? ?

14 What do children gain? b b A sense of freedom b b Escape the problem b b Some support b b Access to some services b b Up the stakes b b Being with other people that believe them b b Feeling in control

15 What happens to young people?

16 What happens to these children? b b Cold Lonely b b Poor health b b No legitimate income ( under 16 ) b b Issue not dealt with b b Missing out on education b b Not being around peer group b b Vulnerable to abusive adults b b Involvement in crime b b Death( estimated 50 a year, gov panel 2008)

17 Not just a number……. b Children in Care. b Children who are bullied. b Children in trouble with the law. b Y.P/children excluded from school. b Children experiencing abuse. b Nb. Running away affects families from all classes b Domestic violence. b Family conflict. b Can end up sexually exploited, poor health, zero education, dead ( government panel 2007 attribute 50 deaths a year) b mum and dad were too busy working to notice I was falling apart ym 13

18 Impact on services b b Each young person takes around five hours of time ( if they return quickly )( police time ) b b Runaways are often in contact with several services e.g. Social Services, Police, EWO,s, YOTS. b b Nearly 50% of sentenced prisoners reported having runaway when they were younger b b 50% of young people accessing organisations such as Centre Point ran away as children b b 53 out of 55 women involved in prostitution reported running away as their route in.

19 Law b b Generally does not recognise under16 as being able to live independently. b b If y.p stays with person beyond 28 days, acts a private foster carer, failure to notify L.A may be an offence b b A person who unlawfully removes, keeps away, assists, encourages child to stay away may be guilty of an offence and liable to prosecution

20 Law cont.………. b b Anyone who takes or detains a young person under the age of 16 without lawful authority may be prosecuted under Sec 2, Child Abduction Act b b Section 51 Children Act 1989, exempts agencies which provides refuge from prosecution. b b Recovery orders, P.P.O.s ( sect. 46 )and E.P.Os can be used.

21 Significant policy / guidance b b Safeguarding children involved in prostitution ( 2000 ) DOH. b b Social Exclusion report - Young Runaways, ( 2002 ) b b Children missing from home or care - a guide to good practice, ( 2002 ) DOH b Sexual offences act 2003 b Children act 2004 b Safe guarding agenda b Every Child matters b Childrens Bill b DCSF guidance

22 Current guidance b Is being reviewed b Re-launched autumn 2009

23 Children in Care, Strategies and procedures b, ( police, SSD, voluntary sector etc. ) b Drawing up of joint protocols, ( police, SSD, voluntary sector etc. ) b b Protocols compatible with other procedures. b b Approved by A.C.P.C. b Named senior management posts in each agency to be responsible for procedure implementation. b Protocols setting, timescales, communication, risk assessment.

24 Children in Care. Risk assessment b b Age. b b Time, day or night. b b History of self harm. b b Previous incidents. b b Suspected associates. b b Possible location. b State of mind, mental health. b Specific info on child.

25 Children in Care, planning/ the return b b Planning before the return b b Should the child return to placement. b b Who will manage return. b b If child refuses, possibly recovery order. b b Arrange for independent person to interview b Return interviews b Opportunity to speak to independent person ( could be social worker, missing persons liaison officer ) b Offer warm, non judge- mental welcome. b Staff and foster carers offered support, training around procedures.

26 Missing from home. b b CYP missing from home should be seen as child in need and afforded an assessment. b b Receiving authority needs to negotiate with home authority about return. b b Y.P offered access to independent interview upon return b Protocols setting out roles, responsibility, info sharing, risk assessment. b Named manager in each local authority to monitor policy and procedure of missing from home

27 Current Government focus b Young runaways action plan ( driven by DCSF) b Performance indicator (new indicator 71) b New guidance- police and local authorities b Review of emergency accommodation

28 What is out there MISPER SCHEMES. ( will not reach most disengaged ) OUTREACH ( locations difficult, introduces young people to different services ) FLEXIBLE REFUGE ( only 11 bed spaces ) EDUCATION ( does appear on some curriculum ) PEER EDUCATION HELPLINESMEDIATION DEVELOPING PROTOCOLS DEVELOPMENTS OF GOOD PRACTICE ( LONE WORKING, ENGAGEMENT, CONFIDENTIALITY, RISK ASSESMENT, )

29 WHAT ISNT OUT THERE ( well not enough of ) Open access services (most have referral routes) Services to meet the needs of BME Street work( although a sticking plaster is essential ) Services to back up protocols Any long term funding ( could echo guidance child prostitution2000 ) A post code lottery across country

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