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Volume 456: debated on Thursday 1 February 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what recent estimate he has made of the numbers of children who are classified as runaways. (117616)

In 2002 the Social Exclusion Unit’s report estimated the number at around 77,000 in the UK, of whom around 65,000 were in England. The Children’s Society, a leading voluntary sector body on runaways issues, estimated in 2005 that these numbers have remained stable since 1999. We are currently working closely with the Children’s Society to assess how far local authority services for young people provide an effective response to runaways.