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.

Procedures from CYSCP on children missing from home or care

There is a Children Missing from Home and Care Storyboard produced by YorOK, CYSCP and City of York Council.

Childrens 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.

Information about the York and North Yorkshire Child Exploitation Trusted Relationships Project including how to make a referral for support. and the Delivery Plan


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.   A child may be deemed as missing from education if:

  • 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;
  • Parents/carers are unsure of the pupil’s new school;
  • He or she has stopped attending without the school receiving any notification.

There is a Children Missing Education Storyboard produced by YorOK, CYSCPB and City of York Council.

NEW!  City of York Council Guidance 2018 regarding CME 

UK Statutory Guidance on Children Missing from Education 

Advice and information from the National Children's Bureau on Children Missing Education



CYSCP provides online and face to face training for practitioners.