Missing from home, care or education
- There are particular concerns about the links between children running away and the risks of sexual exploitation - Barnardos identifies going missing as one of the top four risk factors for CSE
- Missing children may also be vulnerable to other forms of exploitation, to violent crime, gang exploitation, or to drug and alcohol misuse.
- Looked after children missing from their placements are particularly vulnerable
- The Ofsted CSE Thematic Report highlights that LAs are not systematically making the potential connection between CSE and missing from school.
- The Rotherham SCR into the death of Child S highlighted the concerns of children being absent from school, those at risk of exclusion, or being excluded, and on part-time timetables
When a child is found
DfE statutory guidance 2014 ‘Children who run away or go missing from home or care’ advises the following when a child is found:
- Identify and deal with any harm the child has suffered (either before they ran away or whilst missing)
- Understand and try to address the reasons why the child ran away
- Help the child feel safe and understand they have options to prevent repeat instances of running away
Provide them with information on how to stay safe if they choose to run away again, including helpline numbers.