Missing Children

Children Missing from Home, Care or Education

Research shows that the main causes of young people running away are family conflict, including domestic violence or forced marriage, or personal problems such as substance misuse, bullying or relationship problems. Young people who run away are often unhappy or are influenced by others and do so to fit in with the group. The risks faced by young people are the same regardless of how often they have run away from home.

The immediate risks associated with running away include:

  • No means of support or legitimate income – leading to high risk activities;
  • Possible involvement in criminal activities, e.g. being exploited;
  • Becoming a victim of crime, for example through sexual assault and exploitation;
  • Alcohol and substance misuse;
  • Deterioration of physical and mental health;
  • Loss of education and training.

Longer term risks include:

  • Long-term drug dependency;
  • Involvement in crime;
  • Homelessness.

Children who go Missing from Home and Care Joint Protocol, a collaboration between North Yorkshire County Council, City of York and North Yorkshire Police.

Children's Social Care have produced a leaflet, written by young people, for young people going missing from care, and the importance of the Return Interview process. 

Children Missing Education (CME)

All children, regardless of their circumstances, are entitled to a full time education. Children missing education are at significant risk of underachieving, being victims of abuse, and becoming NEET (not in education, employment or training) later on in life.   Situations in which children may be at risk of becoming missing from education include;

  • He or she leaves school without their parents/carers giving details of their new school;
  • The destination school given by the parent/carer has not received the pupil;
  • A child fails to start at a school that has agreed to admit the child or that the child has been allocated a place at;
  • Parents/carers are unsure of the pupil’s new school;
  • He or she has stopped attending without the school receiving any notification.

Schools and local authorities have  a duty to undertake reasonable enquiries to establish the whereabouts of chidren who are at risk of missing education.

Schools must notify the local authority when a pupil’s name is to be removed from the admission register at a non-standard transition point

If you have any concerns that a child may be missing from education please contact cme@york.gov.uk


CYSCP provides online and face to face training for practitioners.

Useful Links

City of York Council attendance and truancy information

UK National guidance regarding Children Missing Education


York and North Yorkshire Child Exploitation Trusted Relationships Project

For further information regarding the York and North Yorkshire Child Exploitation Trusted Relationships Project including how to make a referral for support.

Useful documents