It's estimated that each year around 100,000 children and young people in the UK run away from home or care. South Yorkshire Police received reports of 2,109 children going missing in 2014/2015. Young runaways are often very vulnerable and at a greater risk of violence, sexual exploitation, becoming victims or perpetrators of crime, becoming homeless in later life, unwanted pregnancies and failing to engage in education.
We provide a 24 hour helpline, One to One Support, a Preventative Education Programme and Family support for young people at risk through running away and their families.
Running away or going missing is recognised as a symptom that something is not well in a child’s life. When things go wrong young people do not always know how, or feel able, to ask for help. Instead, many of them run away from home or care and become exposed to great risks in order to survive. Children who run away from home or care are some of the most vulnerable children in our society. SAFE@LAST provides services to help keep them safe.
HELPLINE - 0800 335 7233
Call 0800 335 7233. Text SAFE to 60777. Webchat at www.safeatlast.co.uk
Since 2004 we have been providing a free, confidential helpline which offers help, advice and practical support where necessary to children and young people who are at risk through running away. This includes children who have run away or been forced to leave home or who are thinking that this may be their only real alternative.
The helpline is answered in the day by SAFE@LAST staff, on weekends and evenings by SAFE@LAST specially trained volunteers and during the night by Missing People.
As well as calling young people can also text or webchat. Services which were introduced as a response to what young people were telling us about the ways in which they prefer to communicate with us.
“Michelle (SAFE@LAST worker)… has been so easy to talk to… Michelle is somebody I can trust. She has shown me and shared ideas with me like place I can go and what’s available to help me. This time last year I was ruining my life by going town and not coming home, this time last year I was doing stupid things making stupid choices. Michelle has been amazing”15 year old girl who has been receiving support from SAFE@LAST.
One to One support
SAFE@LAST provides one to one support for young people who are at risk through running away to help them identify and address their issues around running away.
SAFE@LAST provides One to One Support to children at risk through running away from home and care in Barnsley, Doncaster, Rotherham and Sheffield.
This project provides support on a range of issues including conflict, bereavement, family relationships breakdown, anti-social behaviour, criminal activity, mental health, emotional well-being and much more.
Project Workers usually meet with young people weekly. Visits take place Monday–Friday usually in the afternoon and early evening. If a young person is on a reduced timetable we sometimes meet with them during the day. We work with young people for as long as needed which could be a few weeks or many months.
The Project Workers meet the young person in a suitable place. Sometimes this may be a school but usually it is in a place identified by the young person where they feel comfortable to talk about the issues they are facing e.g. a park.
This support offers young people the chance to talk to an independent person about the reasons that led to them running away and provides help and support they need in order to not run away again.
SAFE@LAST uses a holistic, child centred approach, adapting the support to cater for the uniqueness of each and every young person. Some young people require emotional support and listening while others may need more practical support such as support to access health services.
To make a referral for a young person who needs support please download, complete and return this form.
Education and Prevention
The Education and Prevention programme aims to educate and inform children and young people about keeping safe, the risks and dangers of running away and giving them alternative choices for support e.g. the SAFE@LAST helpline or access to one to one support.
We do this through assemblies, workshops, girls/boys groups in secondary schools and holiday projects and activities in Residential Children’s Homes, Youth Clubs and Scouts/Brownie Clubs across South Yorkshire.
As a result of this work in the last year we have delivered to approximately over 35,000 children in various exciting ways. The Runaways Education Officers use engaging and innovative ways to encourage children to consider current issues presented in young people’s lives by using ‘real life’ case studies of the children and young people who have been supported by SAFE@LAST.
Many schools have already included our prevention work into their core curriculum within PSHE lessons and we are delighted to be asked into schools on a yearly basis.
SAFE@LAST provides practical and emotional support to the families of children and young people who run away and go missing from home.
We have been delivering family support work to parents/carers of children and young people that have run away since March 2013.
The Family Support Workers provide emotional and practical help and advice to families who are experiencing long or short term difficulties. They signpost and help them to access support from other services as appropriate.
SAFE@LAST can provide support to parents or carers of young people that are also receiving support from the charity and also if young people are not accessing support.
Like the 1:1 Project the Family Support Workers work with families for as long as needed and usually meet with them once a week. The support offered is tailored to the individual parents and carers.
To make a referral for a family who needs support please download, complete and return this form.