ECRC key information

Why is the ECRC needed?

Every year approximately 75,000 children run away across the United Kingdom. The reasons why children run away or go missing can be wide-ranging and multi‐faceted. For example, they may be running from conflict at home or made to leave by parents or guardians due to behavioural issues. Others may run away through making an informed choice to ‘escape’ a dangerous situation, or as a result of grooming for sexual exploitation.

Research suggests that these children and young people are at increased risk of harm whilst away. They need support to both address why they are running away or going missing, and to ensure that they are safeguarded from risk if they do so.

The ECRC’s vision and mission

The ECRC’s vision is that every child is safeguarded from the risks experienced by runaway and missing children through prevention, targeted services and effective crisis responses. Its mission is to ensure that the needs of these children and young people are comprehensively met. This is at a local and national level through campaigning, sharing good practice and partnership working.

The objectives of the ECRC

The ECRC’s has a number of objectives to support its vision and mission:

  • Ensure that the ECRC has an infrastructure that will enable these objectives to be met, build positive relationships and form a unified voice.
  • Establish and develop links with other relevant forums.
  • Share good practice and promote evidence‐based learning.
  • Influence local and national government and frontline services to build robust policies, practice and guidance that meet the needs of runaway children and their families.
  • Influence statutory agencies to actively support and implement good practice and their full duty of care.
  • Inform and influence key stakeholders, the media and public opinion.
  • Participate and engage with children, young people and their families in the development and work of the ECRC.
  • Respond to and engage with relevant research, consultations and communications.
  • Campaign to achieve the ECRC’s mission.

Membership and governance of the ECRC

The ECRC is a membership organisation. Membership is open to any organisation, service or professional in England that believes in the ECRC’s mission, vision and values and wishes to use their experience and expertise for the benefit of children and young people who run away or go missing, and their families. It is also open to professionals working on issues that are connected to going missing or running away. For example, sexual exploitation services.

The ECRC is led by two Co-Chairs, who are elected by the membership bi‐annually. These positions are currently held by Josie Allan of Missing People, and Sarah Parker of Catch22.

Further information

Missing People provides administrative support to the ECRC. For more information about the ECRC, including membership application forms, please contact Josie Allan at or on 020 8392 4524.

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