Understanding and Responding to Children who Run Away from Home and Institutions – RADAR Program

Learn to read the signs before they run away

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ISPCAN Resources

Focus of this Training:

About 'The Smile of the Child' - Next to every child victim of Violence Physical, Sexual and Psychological Abuse, Neglect, Bullying, Smuggling & Trafficking. Since its establishment and up-to-date "The Smile of the Child" implements actions with the aim to address in a holistic way every form of violence against children. This is achieved through a number of services extended over three main pillars: Prevention, Intervention and Therapy. In partnership with Missing Children Europe: The RADAR project aimed to advance knowledge on why children run away and to improve the care and protection offered to runaways across the EU. The project included extensive research on the link between running away and adverse childhood experiences, such as violence, parental mental illness, and substance abuse, in 4 European countries. The research has served as the basis for the development of training modules and an online course for professionals working with missing and runaway children, as well as to advance advocacy on the phenomenon of running away.

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Webinar Date:

November 15, 2023




Children who run away
Child abduction
Runaway Prevention
Child Exploitation
Presentation Slides - Eugenia Yumi Miyashita - Missing Children Europe
Presentation Slides - Spiropoulou and Gkika - RADAR Project
RADAR - Missing Children Europe
RADAR - Full Research Report
Understanding and Responding to Runaway Children - Online Course - FutureLearn
RADAR - Findings and Recommendations
RADAR - FREE Online Course
Child Helpline International Data Report on Runaways
Missing Children Europe Data Report on Runaways
The Smile of the Child - Χαμόγελο του Παιδιού ® - Care. Equality. Dignity. (hamogelo.gr)

Learning Objectives:

With the support and active engagement of European partners, professional experts, and young people with experience of running away, the event aims to:
Increase awareness on the experiences and needs of runaway children among policy makers, child protection institutions, and communities.
Improve the understanding of why children run away among law enforcement and professionals, and improve both prevention and responses for running away
Advance effective recommendations for policy on the protection of children who run away or who are at risk of running away in Europe.
Build responses and intervention strategies for runaways

Presented By:

Eugenia Yumi Miyashita
Eugenia Yumi Miyashita, Senior Programmes Officer and Safeguarding Lead
Missing Children of Europe
Eugenia is Senior Programmes Manager and Safeguarding Lead at Missing Children Europe. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Criminology and Applied Psychology and a master’s in Children, Youth, and International Development. Before joining Missing Children Europe, Eugenia worked in London as a practitioner with missing and exploited children, as well as with adults experiencing sexual and domestic abuse. In 2013 and 2014 she volunteered as a field worker in Burundi setting up a youth center for street children and supporting staff in hospitals.
Stavroula Spiropoulou, Psychologist, Hot/helpline Supervisor,
The Smile of the Child
Stavroula Spiropoulou is a psychologist and supervisor of the Hotlines of the Organization “The Smile of The Child”. Her experience in the Organization has started five years ago in the Homes for Children victims of any form of violence and neglect. Since then, she has been working with missing and exploited children, children victims of violence and neglect as well as missing adults. Her academic interests revolve around child and adolescent mental health, psychopathology and psychiatry. She has volunteered in centers for children with autism and unaccompanied minors.
Ioanna Gkika
Ioanna Gkika, Psychologist, Prevention & Awareness Department
The Smile of the Child
Ioanna Gkika is a psychologist and clinical neuropsychologist working for the Prevention and Awareness Department of ‘’The Smile of the Child’’. Her experience at the Organization started five years ago in the Day Care Homes for children and families dealing with any kind of violence and Neglect. She has also work experience with drug abusers, refugees and demented people. Her interests involve working in prevention, addressing children, teachers and parents, and the crisis management field, while she also participates in European projects aiming at child protection in a holistic way.
Costas Yannopoulos
President - The Smile of the Child
Costas Yannopoulos was born in Athens, Greece, in 1952. He obtained his Degree in Marketing from Birkbeck, University of London, and upon his return to Greece, he developed two companies in the fields of Informatics and office mechanical equipment. When his younger son Andreas, aged 10, was diagnosed with cancer in 1995, he left his business in order to help his son fight this battle for his life and make his wish come true. Sensitive and caring, Andreas dreamed of an organization whose mission would be to support all children in Greece and all over the world who may be in danger or have any need. He believed that every child deserved a smile, and this is the reason why he named this organization "The Smile of the Child". Thanks to the offers, donations and support of Greece’s business world, people and society as a whole, "The Smile of the Child" has now completed 28 years of continuous presence in Greece and has become a point of reference for every child, parent, public worker and government agency as it has succeeded in implementing a wide spectrum of efficient, direct and flexible initiatives in order to provide services to and protect children and families at risk, in the critical areas of Violence, Health, Missing and Poverty. Aiming to increase its effectiveness, develop expertise and exchange good practices in the field,“The Smile of the Child” participates in International Organizations and Networks for the protection of children's rights, cooperates with important institutions abroad and implements a series of programs in various fields related to the protection of children's rights. Among others, Costas Yannopoulos is the President of the Board of Directors of the European Antibullying Network (EAN) continuously since 2012, while he also served as member of the BoD of the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children (ICMEC) for several years. In 2014 he was awarded the European Citizen's Prize by the European Parliament for the outstanding contribution of “The Smile of the Child” to the protection of children’s rights. In 2021 he was awarded an Honorary Doctorate at the Department of Education and Social Work of the University of Patras by the same Department, in honor of his 27 years of uninterrupted and substantial contribution to any child in need or at risk.
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Piji Protopsaltis
Coordinator of International Cooperation of “The Smile of the Child”
Piji Protopsaltis is the Coordinator of International Cooperation of “The Smile of the Child”, which she joined in 2015. As such, she is responsible for all international partnerships of the Organization, multilateral including international organizations and networks, and bilateral with key national organizations. Ms. Protopsaltis has over 23 years of experience as senior manager in international non-profit organizations, which has included among others the identification, negotiation, securing and implementation of numerous international and domestic partnerships and projects in several key areas including human rights, as well as administration, public affairs, project and financial management, human resources, outreach, conflict resolution and operations. Ms. Protopsaltis hold a bachelor’s degree in Foreign Service from Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., and a Master’s in political science (international relations and comparative politics) from Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts. Ms. Protopsaltis was elected Member of Missing Children Europe (MCE)’s Board of Directors in May 2015, and her term was renewed in November 2018 for another 3 years. She also serves as Coordinator of the European Antibullying Network (EAN), whose Presidency and Secretariat are held by “The Smile of the Child”. Moreover, in 2021 she was elected in 2021 Deputy Regional Representative for Europe in Child Helpline International (CHI).

Contributing Partners:

HAMOGELO_logo_English (002)
The Smile of the Child
MCE (002)
Missing Children Europe