Missing from Home or Care
A child or young person will be considered Missing if he / she is absent from their home or placement and
their whereabouts are unknown or can't be established
their behavior is out of character and/or
their vulnerability means that there is a cause to be concerned for their welfare or safety.
Unauthorised absences, is not missing but when the whereabouts of the child are known but this has not been authorised. Those which cause concern are where:
- there are concerns about the safety of the child
- there is no indication that the child is likely to return within a reasonable period of time; and
- there appears to be immediate risk to the child
The Missing from Care or Home procedures below should be followed in these instances and Child Protection Procedures should be followed, if required, on the child’s return. Reference should also be made to the London Child Protection Procedures and if needed the supplementary London multi-agency procedures relating to specific circumstances such as CSE, gang involvement or trafficking. These procedures provide information that may help staff to recognise and manage these circumstances.
Lambeth has a Missing Coordinator, Emily Wareham firstname.lastname@example.org on 0207 926 8192 who can be contacted for advice.
If you are worried about a child, contact the Integrated Referral Hub:
- Professionals' Line: 020 7926 3100
- Public Line: 0207 926 5555 (24 hours)
- Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (secure email)
If you are a professional, please always follow up your referral in writing by filling in the Multi-Agency Referral Form (MARF) and forward it to the email address above. Always consider other related possible risks in your assessment such as CSE, gang affiliation, county lines or radicalisation; see the Young People At Risk Strategy below.
The Missing People charity can support professionals as well as parents/carers and young people via their website or their helpline number 116000. Further organisations that can provide advice and support are in Resources below.
If a child is at immediate risk of significant harm, please dial 999
Young People at Risk Strategy
The LSCB published a Young People at Risk Strategy which sets out our ambition and resolve for young people to be free from the risk of
- Missing from home, care or education
- Serious Youth Violence
- Involvement with gangs and/ or County Lines
It was launched at the YPAR conference in October 2017, please see the keynote speaker presentations below and a brief video from the conference:
- Annie Hudson, Strategic Director Lambeth Children Social Care
- Dr. Helen Beckett from University of Bedfordshire (CSE)
- Junior Smart (SOS, St Giles) and watch 'Breaking the cycle' (SOS project)
- John Poynton and Lucy Knell-Taylor from Redthread (SYV)
- Robyn Marsh, Safer London (Missing children/Return home interviews)
Organisations that provide support:
Alone in London - Services to engage and support young people aged 16-25 who are homeless or at risk of homelessness. Tel: 020 7278 4224
Safe@Last - Website/text/phone service for children thinking of running away or who are missing. Tel: 0800 335 7723 or text 60777
www.safeatlast.org.uk – Project in Yorkshire which supports missing children however they run a webchat/text/phone service for any missing children
Missing Kids UK - a website run by the Missing Children Team, part of CEOP Command within the National Crime Agency. Has pictures of missing children and advice for parents, practitioners and young people.
Children’s Society - An organisation providing various projects around missing and related issues. Tel: 300 303 7000
Railway Children - Advice, support and outreach work for young people on the streets and advice for adults working with them, also fund projects abroad for missing children. Tel: 01270 757 596
Safer London Foundation - Specialising in supporting young people through violence and exploitation. Tel: 020 7021 0301. Projects run are:
Childline - Providing a free helpline on 0800 1111 and offering advice about various issues including 'Homelessness and running away'.
NSPCC - NSPCC has a range of resources and research on their website. They also run a child trafficking advice centre which can be contacted on the helpline number. 24 Hour Child Protection National Helpline - 0808 800 5000, FGM Helpline - 0800 028 3550
Reunite - Advice and help for parents whose children have been removed from the UK. Advice line 01162 556234.