Register to RADAR’s Free Online Course: Understanding and Responding to Children who Run Away from Home and Institutions.

The RADAR project aims to advance knowledge on why children run away and to improve the care and protection offered to runaways across the EU. The project will carry out extensive research on the link between running away and adverse childhood experiences, such as violence, parental mental illness, and substance abuse, in 4 European countries. The research will serve as the basis for developing training modules and an online course for professionals working with missing and runaway children, as well as to advance advocacy on the phenomenon of running away.

Facts about running away

The issues that lead to running away start early on, with the youngest runaway child reported below the age of 10. The most common reasons why children run away come from problems they experience either in their home, at their school, or in the care home they are living in. The manner in which a runaway child is welcomed back plays a critical role in the likelihood of their being a repeat incident of running away or not.

Project Aims

With the support and active engagement of European partners, professionals experts, and young people with experience of running away, RADAR aims to:

1. Increase awareness on the experiences and needs of runaway children among policy makers, child protection institutions, and communities.

2. Improve the understanding of why children run away among law enforcement and professionals, and improve both prevention and responses for running away.

3. Advance effective recommendations for policy on the protection of children who run away or who are at risk of running away in Europe.


In 2022, the RADAR project:

• Launched the first European online course on the topic of running away. The course, which is called Understanding and Responding to Runaway Children, is a 4-week course available on Future Learn and free of charge for all learners.

In 2021, the RADAR project:

• Published a full Research report consisting of two studies completed with runaway children and professionals across 4 European countries on the topic of running away, and two quantitative studies containing recent data on runaways across Europe obtained through the 116 000 hotlines and the international child helplines.
• Released three summary reports with the key findings and the key recommendations of the full research report.
• Published a Best Practices report containing a select number of good practices, from around Europe, for professionals and institutions working with missing, vulnerable, and runaway children.
• Delivered 6 trainings in 4 European countries to professionals and law enforcement officials on the topic of running away and on the effective strategies for prevention and support.

In 2020, The RADAR project:

• Established a Young People’s Board composed of children and young people with experience of running away, or being at risk of running away, from 4 European countries.
• Conducted 5 focus groups and 5 individual interviews with runaway children, and a study with professionals across Europe to understand advance knowledge on the topic of running away.
• Delivered a one-month long campaign, developed by the Young People’s Board, with the aim to change the negative perceptions that exist about runaway children and to improve society’s understanding of their experiences. The campaign, called Listen. Change.Protect. was shared in over 6 European countries and reached over 300.000 impressions on social media platforms.

Learn more

Young People’s Board

The Young People’s Board is a fundamental member of the RADAR consortium. Together with the project partners and the professional experts, they co-steer all aspects of the project, including campaigns, research, and policy recommendations. It consists of ten young people (aged 14-28) from Belgium, Poland, Greece, and Portugal. The Board members were selected based on their experience of running away or those who have been at risk of running away.


Key Findings and Recommendations Missing Children Europe Data Report on Runaways – Download

Key Findings and Recommendations Child Helpline International Data Report on Runaways – Download

Key Findings and Recommendations: the Delphi Study and Focus Groups – Download

Full RADAR Research Report – Download

Contact person

Eugenia Miyashita
Senior Programmes Manager and Safeguarding Lead

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