Missing Children

Children who are on the child protection register are recognised as being some of the most vulnerable children on the Island. Therefore if they go missing this needs to be flagged immediately to ensure that all work possible can be undertaken to reduce further risk.

Everyone's responsibility

All professionals should immediately notify the lead professional and the police, should it come to their attention that a child whose name is on the child protection register is missing. The lead professional will consult with the responsible team manager and make urgent enquiries to try to trace the child.

At what point a family is considered 'missing' will depend on the known facts about the family and the seriousness of the situation. The major reason for trying to locate such families is that the disappearance may indicate that further abuse has or may have occurred.

Notification of others

The lead professional should liaise closely with the police investigating officer to ensure that there is no duplication of effort and that all enquiries are co-ordinated and documented. Legal advice should be sought at the earliest opportunity.

The Quality Assurance Manager for Services from Services for Children and Young People (telephone 256923), should be informed by the lead professional and the custodian should then consider whether to circulate details of the missing family to all custodians of Child Protection Registers throughout the United Kingdom and the Channel Islands.

When the family is found, the lead professional should be notified and will follow the procedure for the transfer of cases on the child protection register where appropriate. The lead professional will also ensure that all other agencies are informed as well as the  Quality Assurance Manager for Services from Services for Children and Young People (telephone 256923).

Noticing when a family goes missing

A series of missed office appointments or missed home visits may indicate that  the family have suddenly and unexpectedly moved out of the area. Anyone working with children and families who are outstanding child protection concerns (including where the concerns are about an unborn child who may be at future risk of harm) should remain vigilant as to any unexpected absences and inform social work and the police straight away.