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Advising government on supporting missing children

St Christopher’s has been part of a Home Office working group established to assess where there are gaps in support for young people who go missing from home or care.

The aim was to identify possibilities for joint working between external agencies to avoid duplicating support. Representatives from the police, social care, residential providers and voluntary organisations, who shared their experiences of working with a child who has been reported missing and provided ideas to support existing policy and legislation.​​

Attendees took part in an exercise to look at mapping the journey of a young person who has been reported missing and at which stages they come into contact with different professionals.​ For example, a young person who has been missing may return and be involved in a Safe and Well check facilitated by the police, before being offered a Return Home Interview by an independent group who may ask the same questions. This can lead to the young person disengaging with the process.

Laverne, who manages our Safe Steps children’s home, represented St Christopher’s due to her extensive experience working with young women at risk. St Christopher’s also has experience providing Return Home Interviews through our Runaways service, which provides support for young people who go missing and their families or care givers.

Laverne said: “I enjoyed the opportunity to help feed into wider government policy as it will help inform the research into support looked after children who have been missing from care.”