121 Intensive Support Service

We provide intensive one to one support to children who frequently go missing or at most risk whilst they are away from home. We combine this intensive support with Return Home Interviews and our workers are allocated small caseloads.

This means that the worker is able to meet the young person multiple times during the week, quickly building a strong relationship with them and providing support around their missing.

Key features of the service

  • A confidential and independent service;
  • Consistent workers to build relationships with frequently missing children;
  • Child-led sessions, at a time, place and method of their choosing;
  • Capturing and sharing the child’s voice and wishes;
  • Identification of risk and vulnerability;
  • Safety planning and mapping;
  • Signposting and onward referral for support;
  • Information sharing, with consent, to Local Authorities and Police;
  • High quality, comprehensive session reports rich with information and intelligence;
  • Involvement at multi-agency meetings;
  • Participation and sharing expertise at operational and strategic meetings;
  • Tailored performance and impact reports;
  • Compliant with DfE Statutory Guidance.

Our work in Hertfordshire

We have been working in partnership with Hertfordshire County Council and the Office of the Police and Crime Commissioner for Hertfordshire to deliver Return Home Interviews and support to missing children since July 2016.

We are commissioned to continue providing intensive one to one support to children and young people most at risk through their missing. We increased the intensity of our support, going from one visit to up to two sessions per week. We continue to offer young people we’re supporting an RHI on every occasion they go missing.

The cost of a medium risk missing person investigation has been estimated to be between £1,325.44 and £2,415.80.[1]  Based on this, the reduction in missing episodes for these 18 young people from 158 to 26 has an associated cost saving of between £174,958 and £318,885[2] to the police service alone in responding to missing episodes.

Impact of the service

Data collected from our Hertfordshire 121 Intensive Support service showed that six months after our support ended:

  • 84% of young people supported showed a reduction in missing episodes in the six months after support;
  • 21 out of the 25 young people had no further or reduced missing episodes;
  • 6 did not go missing again;
  • 2 went missing on 1 or 2 further occasions;
  • 13 had noticeably fewer missing episodes in the six months following support compared to the months prior to the one-to-one support commencing but continued to go missing but less frequently;
  • 2 continued to go missing at a similar rate.

Further data from a separate cohort of 27 children, that we supported and had full history of their missing episodes showed that missing episodes reduced by 77%.

Our team joins the professional network that already exists around the child and family. We work closely with professionals to compliment the support being provided and undertake focused pieces of work to reduce missing episodes and the associated risk.

Make a referral

If you are a professional working with a child or young person in Hertfordshire and you would like to refer them into this service, click the button below.

Referral Form


Download our guide on Missing People Services for Children and Young People

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[1] Estimate taken from Shalev Greene, K. and Pakes, F. Establishing the cost of Missing Person Investigations, University of Portsmouth, 2012.

[2] It is not possible to entirely attribute the reduction in missing to Missing People’s ‘top 10’ support as we are not necessarily always aware exactly why a young person may stop going missing.

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