Running Away: Drivers – Awareness – Responses

The RADAR project aims to reframe runaway behaviour as an indicator of underlying adverse childhood experiences such as abuse, neglect or living with a family member with mental health problems and/or addiction. The project will raise awareness on the topic of runaway children through research with the provision of advocacy tools, development of trainings and toolkits as well as a Mass Open Online Course for professionals in relevant fields.

Research

  • Understand the adverse childhood experiences that lead children to run away and that they continue to experience during their missing episode.
  • Explore how child protection systems can better support resilience in children following their first episode of running away.
  • Collect data from child helplines and hotlines from at least 20 countries across the EU.
  • Map relevant professionals and stakeholders in different member states to take part in trainings and policy recommendations.
  • Identify good practices for the prevention, support and protection of runaway children.
 

Training

  • Develop training and toolkits for professionals to better help them understand, prevent and support children in the context of running away.
  • Ensure that all relevant professionals are familiar with the best practices developed across the EU.
  • Make trainings and toolkits transferable across different member states and accessible to all those working with runaway children
  • Run trainings on child protection and child-led advocacy trainings on running away.
  • A "train the trainer" element is built in so that trained professionals can train other professionals and continue these trainings beyond the life of the project.

Advocacy

  • Develop a Mass Open Online Course to disseminate training and tools within the EU, regardless of costs and location.
  • Put forward findings and policy recommendations on how to improve the system in the context of runaway children.
  • Run two strategic campaigns during runaway awareness month in hotspots and via social media.
  • Facilitate meetings between children and policy makers to ensure child participation across RADAR.
 

 

Child participation 

The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child recognizes that children are not passive recipients of care and protection, but that they are subjects of rights who are entitled to be involved in decisions that directly affect them. The convention states that every child who is capable of forming views should have a right to freely express them, and that those views must be given due weight in accordance with their developmental capabilities. Missing Children Europe shares the same philosophy of respect for children as active participants in their own lives and believes that children can provide valuable contributions on all issues that directly concern them. RADAR aims to achieve genuine progress in the understanding of children who run away and to guarantee better protection and care for them across the EU. We want to raise awareness offering a true representation of the topic and to develop trainings and advocacy messages that derive from a holistic understanding of the experiences of runaway children. This objective makes child participation a fundamental component of RADAR. 

Through an active engagement of children who have experience of running away and children who are at risk of running away, RADAR will aim to:

  • Obtain authentic insight into the lives and needs of runaway children. 
  • Empower children to apprehend their rights and to provide opportunities to realize them.
  • Better inform child protection systems and services relating to children. 
  • Develop and advance more effective policy recommendations. 
  • Raise authentic awareness and change the perception on runaway children.

Our partners


The University of Liege is a comprehensive public university recognized for its competency in research and in the fields of management and economics. They will take the lead in the research angle to deepen the knowledge on key root causes and consequences of running away.

 

Child Focus is a Belgian NGO dealing with missing children, international child abduction and sexual exploitation of children. They will lead the development of training sessions for law enforcement, judicial authorities, social services, hot- and helplines, educators and other professionals.



Child Helpline International is a worldwide network of helplines for children composed of 173 members and 142 countries and territories. They will complement the annual data collection from missing children hotlines with data from child helplines as well as complement the advocacy and dissemination activities of Missing Children Europe.



ITAKA is a hotline for missing children in Poland and they will complement the annual data collection from missing children hotlines with data from child helplines as well as complement the advocacy and dissemination activities of Missing Children Europe.



IAC is a hotline for missing children in Portugal and they will complement the annual data collection from missing children hotlines with data from child helplines as well as complement the advocacy and dissemination activities of Missing Children Europe.



The Smile of the Child the largest internationally recognized non-profit organization in Greece specialized in the field of child protection, search and rescue of missing children, support of children and families in need, and free public health for the prevention and treatment of children. They will complement the trainings and research in partnership with other project partners.