Home Office Minister Lynne Featherstone met with young people to hear about their experiences of running away and going missing.
The Minister for Equalities and Criminal Information visited The Children’s Society in Islington yesterday, London to meet with teenagers who have been supported by the charity’s work around the country.
She heard about their experiences, and talked to them about how the government was helping young people like them through the missing children and adults strategy.
Young people most likely to go missing
Lynne Featherstone said: ‘The problem of children going missing is bigger than many people realise, with those aged 15 to 17 most likely to go missing, as well as being at risk of harm and exploitation.
‘Hearing the views of children and young people has renewed my determination to ensure we are doing all we can to help and support them.’
Strategy in action
The minister heard how two 15-year-old girls succumbed to peer pressure before going missing repeatedly, often feeling scared and vulnerable in some of the situations they found themselves in.
However, they were introduced to a Children’s Society project via their school, and soon found the impartial support and advice they needed to make the change.
The first government strategy to highlight the importance of missing people and provide a core framework for local areas was launched last December.
The minister added: ‘Projects like those run locally by The Children’s Society are a lifeline for young people and just the kind of local contact the strategy advocates.
‘I have been very impressed with the two young girls I met, who have grown into articulate and intelligent young women with the help of local support.’