A project that supports young people who have runaway from home in Fife and Tayside has won praise in a new report.
A project helping young runaways across Tayside and Fife has been highly praised for its outstanding work in a new report.
The Safe and Sound project has had a positive impact on the lives of young people and their families, according to the review of its progress.
Run in conjunction with Shelter Scotland, Relationships Scotland and Family Mediation Tayside, the project provides practical support to families in resolving disputes that accompany a breakdown of relationship between a child and parent. The report found it could provide a template for other services across Scotland and help reduce the 12,000 incidents of young people running away from home each year.
Today's runaways are tomorrow’s young homeless people, so Safe and Sound’s approach of early intervention is vitally important - Graeme Brown
More than 230 young people have been helped through the scheme, which launched in 2012.
The review particularly praised the way in which the project developed relationships between young people and staff, creating bonds that led to a more stable future.
Graeme Brown, director of Shelter Scotland, said the charity was now looking at how similar services can be provided across Scotland in future.
He added: “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.”
Sarah Morton report author and co-director of the Knowledge Exchange at the University of Edinburgh, said: “I have rarely been involved in evaluating a project that has been so positively endorsed by the people, referral agencies and partners using it.
“The challenge ahead is how to build on this success to ensure that young people at risk of homelessness are never left with no-one to turn to.”