Runaway children: Govt publish new guidelines

Runaway children: Govt publish new guidelines

There are no exact figures for the number of children who go missing or run away, but estimates suggest the figure is in the region of 100,000 per year.

The government’s statutory guidance on children who run away or go missing from home or care was recently updated following a consultation with local authorities, representative bodies and interested parties.

It was felt that the original guidance needed to be updated to reflect changes in changes in policy and widespread concerns about children in care who were believed to have been sexually exploited.

The consultation, which took place from mid July to September 2013, produced the attached new guidelines (pdf).

These include details such as:

  • Protocol agreements between local authorities and police when a child runs away or goes missing in their area
  • Access to support for a child who has run away
  • The agreement of risk assessments for children who have run away.
  • What steps to take when a child is found
  • The provision of emergency accommodation

It also includes guidance on looked-after children who may have been trafficked from abroad.

The following flow chart has been produced to show the roles and responsibilities when a child goes missing from local authority care.

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