ASA Missing Child Policy
It is hoped that no child will ever go missing from your organisation. If they do, remember that most children are found within a few minutes of their disappearance.
However, if a child for whom your organisation has responsibility for goes missing, the following guidelines have been devised to clarify the actions that should be taken.
• Ensure the other young people in your care are looked after appropriately while you organise a search for the missing young person.
• Inform the young person’s parents if they are present at the event, or nominate an appropriate person to telephone them and advise them of the concern. Reassure them that you are doing all you can to locate their child.
• Divide up all the available responsible adults into areas to be searched. It is best to take a short time to organise the search properly so that all places are searched fully.
• Search the area in which the child has gone missing, including changing rooms, toilets, public and private areas and the organisation’s grounds.
• Request all those searching to report back to you or to a nominated adult at a specific location and time.
• This nominated person should also be making a note of the events, including a physical description of the young person including approximate height, build, eye colour, hair colour and style as well as the colour, brand and type of clothing he/she was wearing, and where he/she was last seen, as this will be required by the police. If the search is unsuccessful you should then report the concern to the police.
A REPORT SHOULD GO TO THE POLICE NO LATER THAN THIRTY (30) MINUTES AFTER THE YOUNG PERSON’S DISAPPEARANCE IS NOTED, EVEN IF THE SEARCH IS NOT COMPLETE.
• The police may recommend further action to be taken before they get involved; you should follow any guidance they provide.
• If the police decide to act upon the concern, follow their guidance in respect of further actions to take, if any.
• At any stage of the investigation, if the young person is located, ensure that you inform all adults involved including the parents, searchers and police if by they are already involved.
• Refer the concern as soon as possible to the ASA Child Safeguarding Team.