A child going missing from their educational setting can be a potential indicator that they are at risk of harm. Schools should follow safeguarding procedures in cases where children go missing and there is a concern, particularly when children go missing on repeat occasions. Schools should act to identify any risk of abuse and neglect, including sexual abuse or exploitation. Where a child is missing during the school day, the same must apply. If a school is concerned about a child who has been missing, the school must discuss this with the Designated Safeguarding Lead taking advice regarding any course of action that may need to be taken. If you require further advice, you can call the Family Operations Hub on 0345 603 7627 and request a Professional Consultation.
Missing Person Safe Call Team
The Missing Person Safe Call Team provide a debrief service to children and young people who have recently been missing and have potentially come into contact with gangs or involved in county lines.
The team accept self-referrals from children and young people and referrals from external professionals and agencies (police, social services, schools, charities, youth organisations etc). They work closely with children, young people and their parents/carers to ensure that the risk of exploitation is minimised and ensure that information is shared between social workers, youth workers and other services that they may be receiving support from.
They aim to offer a non-judgemental service to ensure these children/ young people have a safe space to talk about their experiences in confidence. They also support the families and carers of those who have missing episodes; providing them with emotional support and guidance.
Operating hours for the Safe Call Team are Monday to Friday, 9am to 6pm. There is also a free 24 hour helpline which is available should support be needed out of hours.
Professionals can complete online referral form. Or, can send an e-mail to the Safe Call Team with the name of the young person, DOB, telephone numbers and reason for referral with any concerns highlighted.
SafeCall Telephone: 020 8392 5710
SafeCall E-mail: SafeCall@missingpeople.org.uk
24/7 Helpline: 116 000
24/7 Helpline E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Information for parents
Step by step process of reporting a missing child - Essex Police.
Please note, if you haven't conducted any enquiries yourselves (called the child’s mobile, called friends etc) or you believe you know where your child is, the police may ask you to call back once these tasks have been completed, unless there is an immediate risk.
If you feel you know where the child may be but cannot leave the house to see if they are there, this must be explained to the police, so they can consider the context in their decision making.
If there is felt to be an immediate risk of danger then this must be reported on 999.
There is information specifically for parents/carers on this page.