Understanding and Responding to Children who Run Away from Home and Institutions
Explore the relationship between adverse childhood experiences and running away
Although the high rates of running away are widely recognised as a problem in Europe, there is little research on running away and its causes.
This four-week course aims to change the misunderstandings around running away, showing that it is not a problem behaviour, but a sign that something is wrong.
Once you’ve completed this course, you’ll be able to better understand, respond to, protect, and support the children that you work with as a professional, who might be at risk of running away.
Discover the key reasons for running away
Over the duration of this course, you’ll look at how different contexts and circumstances can lead to vulnerabilities and adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) associated with running away.
You’ll gain insight into the link between ACEs, trauma, and missing children, and will be able to identify patterns of behaviour and other risk factors for runaways.
Build responses and intervention strategies for runaways
Once you understand the risk factors for running away, you’ll explore effective intervention and prevention strategies for children with a history of running away or that are at risk of running away.
You’ll also look at the role of parents and carers, communities, and, most importantly, peers, in supportive responses for runaways and children at risk of running away.
Join Missing Children Europe in improving protection for runaway children
This course is part of the Running Away: Drivers, Awareness, and Responses (RADAR) project and Missing Children Europe is the project’s lead coordinating organisation.
With their overall expertise and knowledge of child disappearances, Missing Children Europe is ideally positioned to deliver this course, helping to improve the experience of children who go missing.
Learning on this course
On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.
What will you achieve?
By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...
- Reflect on the competencies of children and how different circumstances and contexts can make children vulnerable.
- Describe what characterizes a runaway child and summarize the impact that misconceptions of these characterizations can have on runaways.
- Reflect on the reasons why children runaway and describe how these reasons vary for different groups of children based on their circumstances.
- Describe adverse childhood experiences and trauma and summarize why they can lead to running away.
- Identify and describe patterns of behavior and symptoms of children at risk of running away.
- Reflect and describe the risks of running away and how it can increase the probability of new adverse childhood experiences or trauma for children.
- Describe the impact of adverse childhood experiences and trauma on children.
- Summarize and describe good practices and interventions in response to adverse childhood experiences and running away.
- Describe the barriers and benefits for children of trusted relationships with adults.
- Summarize and describe good practices to prevent running away
- Reflect on the role of communities in safeguarding children.
- Reflect on the obligation to and benefit of collaborating with children to improve services and communities and describe strategies for working with children.
Who is the course for?
This course is designed for all professionals working with children. It will be of particular interest to social workers, teachers, healthcare workers, youth workers, and law enforcement officials who work with runaway children.
This course is also suitable for wider community members such as transport and restaurant staff, as well as families or carers. No prior learning or experience is required.
Who developed the course?
Missing Children Europe is the European Federation for Missing and Sexually Exploited Children connecting 31 grassroot organisations in 26 countries across Europe. We are all committed to the same goals: to prevent that children go missing, and to protect children from any violence, abuse or exploitation that leads to or results from them going missing.
Endorsers and supporters
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