How can I safeguard a missing child?
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.
An 'unauthorised absence' does not mean the child or young person is missing. It is 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
Children and young people who regularly go missing from home or care have been found to be at significant increased risk of:
becoming involved in crime to survive, from stealing to criminal gang involvement;
sexual exploitation and abuse
drug and alcohol misuse
mental and sexual health issues
exclusion from school and failure to meet educational milestones
Support and Resources
If a child is at immediate risk of significant harm, please dial 999.
Please call or email and follow up with a Multi-agency Referral Form.
Refer to the London Child Protection procedures to safeguard children missing from care, home, or education.
For more information and guidance, get in touch with Lambeth's Missing Coordinator, Emily Wareham.
Missing People provides services and information for professionals working with young people who are missing.
Refer to the DfE's statutory guidance on children who run away or go missing from home or care. (January 2014)