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Call or text for free on 116000

We are confidential.

We don’t know who you are or where you are – unless you tell us. And what you say is between you and Runaway Helpline.
We’d like you to trust us enough to talk to us. It can be hard to look for support from a stranger and describe what’s going on for you and how you’re feeling about things. You are free to tell us what you want. We will listen and support you so that you can make the right choices for you. We won’t judge you.

We believe that you have a right to anonymity. This means you don’t have to give us your name when you contact us, or tell us where you are or where you live. If you do tell us your details, we will keep your contact with us confidential – only you and Runaway Helpline will know about it. If you ask us to take action for you; like calling someone or passing a message, we will ask you for some real details about you so that we can do that – usually your name, date of birth and contact details.

If you give us your details we will keep a record on our database so that, if you contact us again, we can see how we helped last time.

Just so you know – our phone, email, text and chat systems don’t tell us where you are.

Your phone bill won’t show that you called us, although you would need to delete our 116 000 number from your phone call history or messages if you were worried someone might look at your phone to see who you have called.  Chat systems leave cookies on your device so that we know it’s you next time.  If you want to delete these from your device you can – look here for instructions.

If we do know who you are – because you’ve told us – and we think you or someone else is at risk of serious harm – for example, if you tell us that you might kill yourself – or we know you are in danger, then we would have to consider telling emergency services  who could help you to be safe. If we have been working with you on behalf of your local authority and we think you are at risk of harm we may have to share it with them.

We will always try to talk to you about why we want to do this because you have a right to know if we are thinking about taking any action which will affect you.

We might have to make a special request to our communications providers to find out about where you are.

If you have any worries about confidentiality, just ask us at the beginning of your contact with us.

Please remember that our confidentiality applies to calls, emails, texts and chats.

Runaway Helpline is operated by the charity Missing People.  For more information on our confidentiality policy, please email us on or call us on 116 000. Read more about our privacy and terms of use here.

Remember our service is free. You can contact us between 9am – 11pm and we’re confidential.

Due to limited resources we are only able to respond to chat, emails and SMS received in English. However, if you can contact us by phone on 116 000 we have the facility to offer support in other languages via a confidential third party organisation.

We are confidential.

It looks like you’re accessing this website from outside the United Kingdom.

The Runaway Helpline can only provide services to children and young people within the United Kingdom, and information and advice on this site relates to the UK only.

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