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'Project should be a template to help Scotland's 12,000 young runaways'

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'Project should be a template to help Scotland's 12,000 young runaways'

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Communities

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A service that helps young runaways across Tayside & Fife has been highly praised for its work in a new report.

And according to homelessness charity Shelter Scotland, the 'Safe and Sound' project provides a template which could be adopted across Scotland to help tackle the estimated 12,000 runaway incidents which occur each year.

Safe and Sound has already helped over 230 young people in less than two years.

It has been commended for its success in helping young runaways to return and stay in the family home and improve relationships between family members.

It has also been acclaimed by service users for helping to restore their trust in people and in rebuilding their confidence.

Minister for Children & Young People Aileen Campbell, who will launch the report, said: “The Scottish government is working with a wide range of partners to support young people who are homeless or may be at risk of homelessness, including through our recently-passed Children and Young People Act and by funding specific projects such as Safe and Sound.

“It’s clear that this excellent initiative has come a long way since I attended the opening in 2012 and today’s evaluation shows it is delivering some very positive results. This is another example of Shelter Scotland’s important work in addressing homelessness and its causes.”

Launched in July 2012 with backing from the Big Lottery Fund, Safe and Sound is a partnership between Shelter Scotland & Relationships Scotland, Family Mediation Tayside and Fife.

Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said: “With around 12,000 runaway incidents each year it is good news for the 230 young people in Tayside and Fife who have been helped by Safe and Sound. The project’s success shows that in many cases, positive outcomes for young people and their families are possible. We are now looking at how similar services can be provided across Scotland.

“Today's runaways are tomorrow’s young homeless people, so Safe and Sound’s approach of early intervention is vitally important to prevent homelessness and address why children and young people run away. Our research shows that more than 80% of today’s young homeless people in Scotland under 25 – equivalent to around 10,000 young people - ran away at least once before they were 16.

“We thank the minister and the big Lottery Fund for their support and we look forward to continuing with this special service that offers a valuable lifeline for vulnerable young people and their families.”

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