Missing from Home

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Missing Children and Young People

There are a number of reasons why children and young people go missing or runaway from home, these could include: arguments, a breakdown of a relationship, physical or emotional abuse, boundaries issues or in cases where a child or young person is in care issues or conflict relating to their placement.

Clearly when a child or young person goes missing or runs away from home they may put themselves at risk or in danger, they may have no means of support or legitimate income, they may become involved in criminal activities or they may become a victim of abuse or other crime, for example through sexual assault and exploitation or they may become at risk of alcohol/substance misuse.

Where a child or young person goes missing then the police must be informed immediately, the police are the primary agencies for finding missing persons including children and young people.

However advice and support can also be obtained from a variety of agencies and organisations.

Here in Warrington the organisation ‘Catch 22’ operate a Missing from Home service which works alongside young people, their families and the police to find out what has caused them to run away and prevent them from running away again in the future.

The service runs a dedicated helpline 0808 168 9698 and provides support to young people who have run away or need advice as well as family and friends who are concerned about runaways.

More information can be obtained from the Catch 22 website (see attached link)

Department for Education Statutory Guidance

The Department for Education has published ‘Statutory Guidance’ for agencies involved with missing children and young people to follow, the guidance can be found by following the attached link.

Pan Cheshire Children Missing from Home and Care Protocol

Warrington Safeguarding Children Board together with the other Cheshire Safeguarding Children Board’s, the Cheshire Constabulary and a number of other key agencies and organisations have developed a procedure on how agencies should respond should a child or young person go missing. The procedure can be accessed from the attached link.

There are also a number of national charities and organisations which can provide much needed help and support both to the missing child / young person and their families. These include:

Missing People

Missing People is a UK charity which specialises in, and is dedicated to, bringing missing children and adults back together with their families. Their services are available 24 hours a day, every day of the year and contact can be made with the charity via phone, text or email. (see attached link)

Missing Kids

Missing Kids UK is a website run by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre, the UK’s national law enforcement agency for protecting children, and has information on a number of missing children. (see attached link)