For emergency accommodation to be effective, awareness-raising activities need to take place with children and young people, families, professionals and agencies that can refer individuals to emergency accommodation.
Many of those who run away are not known to child protection services.
Accommodating homeless young people with mental health issues
Finally, the report highlights how significant costs are incurred from failing to respond to children and young people who run away; these can be as much as £500,000 per child.
Emergency accommodation can play a vital role in reducing costs relating to future episodes of running away and, when delivered in line with best practice, can also prevent human and financial costs that affect local communities and wider society.
Refuge provision is also more likely to have specialist expertise that result in young runaways’ needs being met through focused activity, helping to bring about a return home, if appropriate, and directing children to other services as required.
Refuges have been found to support the prevention of harm and ensure children’s safety as well as improving general well-being, mental health and school attendance and achievement.
Best practice involves outreach work, with services available 24 hours a day.