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Iryna Pona

Policy and Research Manager – Youth at Risk - The Children’s Society

Iryna Pona is a Policy and Research Manager leading The Children’s Society’s policy and research work on young people at risk, including young people affected by sexual or criminal exploitation, missing children, youth homelessness. Iryna has over 15 years of experience in policy and research. Her missing children related work includes reports Here to Listen? (2013) and The First Step (2019) as well as supporting the work of the All-Party Parliamentary Group on Young Runaway and Missing Children and Adults through the inquiries into children missing from care and safeguarding of absent children. Iryna’s research into sexual exploitation of 16 and 17 year olds ‘Old Enough to Know better?’ informed The Children’s Society’s Seriously Awkward Campaign focussing on transition to adulthood for vulnerable adolescents. The latest report that Iryna co-authored Counting Lives: Responding to children who are criminally exploited (2019) looks at responses that children who are exploited by county lines criminal groups receive from police, children’s services and other agencies.