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Homelessness and Running Away

100 000 children in the UK run away from home each year. Children run away to escape serious problems at home such as violence, abuse and neglect. They also run away because of more common everyday issues: bullying, relationship issues, loneliness and family breakdown.

Young people become homeless for a wide range of reasons but the most common is being asked to leave the family home by their parents. Anyone can become homeless but there are certain individual factors which make it more likely, including relationship breakdown, leaving an institution such as care, and physical and mental health problems. (Crisis (opens in new tab or page ))


Railway Children (opens in new tab or page) have created free resources for teachers to educate pupils about the dangers of running away. They are appropriate for children in key stages 1, 2 and 3.

The charity Shelter (opens in new tab or page) have produced a ‘Classroom Kit’ (opens in new tab or page) to support learning about the issues associated with homelessness in primary and secondary schools.

The BBC (opens in new tab or page) have produced a lesson which looks at why a young person might find themselves homeless and the stereotypes associated with homelessness.

Truetube (opens in new tab or page) contains a number of short videos which may be of use when approaching homelessness and running away in the classroom.