The role of return home welfare interviews in responding to the needs of young runaways

Fiona Mitchell, Margaret Malloch, Cheryl Burgess

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


When children and young people run away from home or care it is most often indicative of problems in their lives. Reporting on the findings of a recent evaluation, this study considers the role, delivery and impact of ‘return home welfare interviews’ (RHWIs) in identifying children and young people in need. It concludes that RHWIs function as an effective screening mechanism and can be facilitative in creating multiple pathways for referral to appropriate services. It challenges assumptions about the unsuitability of the police in undertaking RHWIs and highlights the importance of context, training and appropriate resourcing to the success of police delivery.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)55-65
Number of pages11
JournalChildren and Society
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • child protection
  • children in need
  • early prevention
  • youth

Cite this