Missing and Absent

Missing and absent children in Central Bedfordshire.

Every year over 100,000 children run away in the uk. Running away is a sign that something is wrong in a child life and may be at risk of harm.

Children and young people who go missing in Central Bedfordshire are responded to in accordance with the Bedford Borough, Central Bedfordshire and Luton Borough Safeguarding Children Boards Safeguarding Children and Young People who Run Away and go missing from Home and Care protocol. Please click here for LSCB protocol

Repeatedly going missing should not be viewed as a normal pattern of behaviour. For example, repeat episodes of a child going missing can indicate sexual exploitation. If a child has run away two or more times, consideration should be given to undertaking an Early Help Assessment or if the indications are that the child is a Child in Need, a referral to Children’s Social Care in conjunction with the threshold criteria.

When a young person who’s where about are unknown are reports to the police, the police will categorise that young person as missing or absent using the Association of Chief Police Officers definitions. These are: Missing - “Anyone whose whereabouts cannot be established and where the circumstances are out of character or the context suggests the person may be subject of crime or at risk of harm to themselves or another” or Absent – “A person not at a place where they are expected or required to be and where there is no apparent risk”

The Statutory Guidance on Children Who Run Away or Go Missing from Home or Care 2014 is issued under Section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 and states that local authorities must offer an independent return interview to all children who run away or go missing from their family home or care’. Please click here for statutory guidance

In central Bedfordshire, Any young person who has been reported as missing or absent to the police or to another organisation will be offered a return home interview by our independent return home interview services. The return home interview service will accept referrals via the access and referral hub from parent’s carers and professionals. Please contact 0300 300 8585 or Access&Referral@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk for further information or to make a referral.

A return home interview is an in-depth conversation with a young person who has run away. It should be led by an independent, trained professional whom the young person trusts.

If you have intelligence to share with Bedfordshire police about a missing young person, please click here: Intelligence Submission Form. Please note that this not a replacement for a safeguarding referral.    

The Missing Children and Young People Panel (MCYPP) is a multi-agency panel held once a month with regular representatives from Bedfordshire Police, Children’s Services (all three Local Authorities), Youth Offending, Health and any other invited agencies. The meeting is intended to share intelligence and information, provide interventions and reduce the risk to children and young people who are regularly reported missing or absent. The panel does not address risks relating to Child Sexual Exploitation and these should be referred to the Child Sexual Exploitation Panel.

If you are concerned about the risk a child or young person is being exposed to during periods of absence/missing or the number of times a child or young person is absent or missing, a referral can be made to the panel. If you wish to discuss any case you are considering for referral to the panel, advice or the full Terms of Reference can be sought from Bedfordshire Police Missing Persons Unit (via 101). The MCYPP referral form.

The children society has produced a number of leaflets to provide information and advice for parents and carers, young people, education and youth work staff about running away.

Children http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/sites/default/files/tcs/6pp_a5_runaways_-_a_guide_for_yp_web.pdf

Parents http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/sites/default/files/tcs/runaways_parents_guide_2013_final_six-page.pdf

Education and youth work http://www.childrenssociety.org.uk/sites/default/files/tcs/6pp_a5_pro_guide_to_runaways_web.pdf

Other Information:
Runaway Helpline

Free, 24/7 confidential support
Runaway Helpline is here if you are thinking about running away, if
you have already run away, or if you have been away and come back.
Call or Text : 116 000
Email : 116000@runawayhelpline.org.uk
Website: http://nwgnetwork.us5.list-manage2.com/track/click?u=9b0570d613180ef9117789913&id=b73a9e0d20&e=ec10d49360

To download a poster for young people you are working with and a professionals leaflet or to order materials please go to http://nwgnetwork.us5.list-manage.com/track/click?u=9b0570d613180ef9117789913&id=9fd5c64b9d&e=ec10d49360




Have your say...

Comments are closed for this article