Vulnerable teenagers are being let down by a care system that is not fit-for-purpose and often places them in greater danger of exploitation. Pete Henshaw reports

Jacob experienced more horrors in his life than most of us could comprehend. He was reported missing more than 20 times. Jacob owned three mobile phones, was selling drugs and was a suspect or offender in 26 police reports. Found intoxicated and distressed, Jacob died in 2019 after being sucked into a dangerous criminal world. He fell through gaps in the school, care and youth justice systems. His death could have been prevented.

He was 16-years-old.

With exclusion and absence from school a key driver of risk for the exploitation of young people, we need urgent action to keep vulnerable teenagers at their local school and in communities they know.

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