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Charity urging help for runaways A national strategy is needed to help support the 100,000 children who run away from home every year, the Children's Society has said.
The society, which has been working with young runaways since the 1980s and is currently reviewing services, is presenting a number of recommendations at a conference in London on Friday.
They include having a national co-ordinated strategy for runaways and the provision of safe emergency accommodation for under-16s. It also wants local authorities to provide guidance for young runaways as well as welfare interviews and support for children who return home.
According to the Children's Society, one in six of all young runaways ends up sleeping on the streets, while one in 12 gets hurt or injured. Most of them were girls, aged between 14 and 15.
The society's strategy director Penny Nichols told the BBC: "Many runaways sleep rough at night and many resort to very risky lifestyles in order to be able to support themselves.
She said services for children who run away from home were "very limited", adding: "What we are calling for here is a network of services nationally so each child, wherever they are, has recourse to some support and help.
"Some local authorities have really good practice, really good protocols, really good lead managers who deal with this issue - and others are really just at sea to know what to do."
The charity, which has been working with the Department for Education and Skills, is due to publish a report on the issues later this year.
Ms Nichols said: "We are very hopeful that this time we will see some really constructive efforts to meet the needs of these children."