Missing Children

Going missing is a dangerous activity. A child or young person who goes missing just once faces the same immediate risks as those faced by a child or young person who regularly goes missing. However, children who go missing when they are young, and/or more frequently are more likely to face longer-term problems.

Research by The Children’s Society has led to an estimate suggesting that some 100,000 children go missing every year. Essentially, when they go missing, children are either running from a problem such as neglect or abuse at home, or to somewhere they want to be. They may have been coerced to run away by someone else. Whatever the reason for their running, The Children’s Society estimates that approximately 25% of those children who go missing are at risk of serious harm.

The new pan Merseyside Missing from Home and Care Protocol was launched in May 2018, and updated in 2022. The protocol is designed to provide a joined up multi agency response to children and young people who are missing or have gone missing from home and care.

The protocol includes the local procedure for managing cases where children are missing from home or care. The procedure can be downloaded here:

Also published in a one page 7 minute briefing for professionals which highlights key parts of the protocol and procedure. The briefing can be downloaded below:

Missing 7 Minute Briefing



Useful Links and Contacts

 Integrated Front Door  0151 606 2008
 Wirral Safeguarding Unit  0151 666 4442
 Emergency Duty Team (EDT)  – out of hours  0151 677 6557
 Catch22 Missing and Child Exploitation Service  0151 604 3617
 Catch22 Helpline  0808 168 9698
Wirral Attendance Service https://www.wirral.gov.uk/schools-and-learning/education-social-welfare-service
 Lead Police Officer for Missing Children  0151 777 2995
Job Centre Plus 0845 600 8196
Child Benefit Office 08453 021 444
Foreign and Commonwealth Office 020 7008 1500
National Missing Persons Helpline 0500 700 700
UK Trafficking Centre (UKHTC) 0114 252 3891

Catch22 website: https://www.catch-22.org.uk/services/wirral-missing-home-child-sexual-exploitation/


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