Children Who Go Missing
This section of the procedures covers situations where a child cannot be contacted because the whereabouts of the family is unknown; the child has gone missing or the child is missing from education provision.
1.1 When there are concerns about a child (e.g. because they are “in need”, are the subject of a child protection enquiry or of a current child protection plan) it is important that services remain in contact with the family to ensure that the child’s needs are being met. In situation where the child/family cannot be contacted it is important that appropriate action be taken to ensure that the child does not “fall through the net”. This section of the procedures covers situations where:
1.2 When there are on-going concerns regarding a child’s welfare a series of missed appointments should act as a warning indicator to the involved agencies. In such situations agencies should bear in mind that missed appointments may be an indicator that the child has moved address.
1.3 Where there are such concerns children's social care and the police should be informed. Children's social care and the police will consider what steps are required to try and locate the family/child – which may include legal interventions where there is concern that the family may be attempting to deliberately avoid intervention by removing the child. In circumstances where the child has been taken overseas this may include contacting the Consular Directorate at the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for assistance.
2. Children who go missing
2.1 Children who run away do so because they are unhappy or are afraid. This is, in itself, a matter of concern for agencies involved in child protection work. However, the fact that the child is missing will also mean that they are vulnerable and in danger. Statutory guidance for dealing with missing children  requires that there should be a 'Tees Children Missing from Home or Care Protocol' agreed between children's social care, the police and other relevant agencies. The protocol should include:
3. Children who go missing from education
3.1 It is very important that all children receive education provision as this:
3.2 For these reasons a child who is missing education is of concern to agencies involved in safeguarding and protection. The reasons why a child may be missing education include:
3.3 Children facing difficulties at home, or in specific circumstances, may be at particular risk. Such children include:
3.4 Every local authority has a Child Missing Education (CME) named point of contact. Every practitioner working with a child has a responsibility to inform their CME contact if they know or suspect that a child is not receiving education.
3.5 There is specific guidance to assist local agencies in:
4. Further information: