If you do not know the whereabouts of a child who is missing from home or local authority care, you should report this as soon as possible.
A child or young person under the age of 18 years is considered ‘missing’ if they are:
- Missing from home
- Missing from care
- Part of a missing family - including children on the Child Protection Plan
Unauthorised absence is when a child or young person has deliberately gone missing and:
- Their behaviour is not out of character
- They are expected to return or be found quickly, or are temporarily staying with a relative or friend
- They are not expected to suffer or cause significant harm to others while absent
- In these circumstances, there may still be a need to investigate when there are concerns for the child’s welfare.
What you can do
Parents of children missing from home must report this to the police on 0151 709 6010.
If the missing child is in care, the child’s social worker should be contacted on 0151 443 4086 or on 07659 590081 out of hours.
Parents who do not inform the police, or social services, when a child is missing could find this becomes a child protection issue.
Professionals dealing with missing children need to complete an assessment using the Common Assessment Framework (CAF).
All agencies should consider the risk factors outlined in the Merseyside Missing from Home or Care Protocol.
For further information, contact Children Services on 0151 443 4086 or email firstname.lastname@example.org