Welcome to the National Missing Persons Framework Toolkit for Professionals in Scotland

The National Missing Persons Framework Implementation Project

From 2019, Missing People has been working in partnership with Scottish Government and Police Scotland to support local areas in Scotland implement The National Missing Persons Framework, created in 2017. The Framework acts as guidance for professionals to prevent, respond, support and protect missing persons and their families and is available here on the Scottish Government website or to download below.

Download the National Missing Persons Framework for Scotland

As part of The National Missing Persons Framework Implementation Project, Missing People have delivered a coordinated programme of consultancy, training and good practice sharing with 26 local areas across Scotland.

The approaches outlined in this toolkit are based on Missing People’s 30 years of experience working with missing children, adults, and their families across the UK, and the good practice we have found in the 26 areas of Scotland we have worked in, which includes the completion of Return Discussions, multi-agency working, and information sharing.

As part of the project, Missing People has mapped and reviewed current policies, guidance, and practice in local areas to gain an understanding of the excellent work already being delivered to support missing persons and their families. Some examples of good practice from local areas will be included under the following objectives, which correspond to The Framework and provide key information and resources.

“We found the entire process extremely engaging and of considerable value.  It build a platform for us all to increase our shared situational awareness, limitations and expectations helping us to work together in a more cohesive team.  The independent coordination from Annie and Nikki at Missing People gave us the opportunity to collectively review our approach to those who go missing, building the shared vision of protecting those who need support.” – Sergeant Barry McNaught, Police Scotland

Click below to meet the project team and the National Coordinator for Scotland.

Learn more


The Toolkit

This online toolkit for professionals is designed to provide those working with missing adults, children, young people, and families in Scotland with the tools they need to support, safeguard and respond to missing incidents. We hope you will find the toolkit useful guidance for day to day practice. The Toolkit begins with some useful information about missing, The Framework and you will find the toolkit contents at the bottom of this page or via the navigation bar at the top.


What are some of the reasons people go missing?

Why young people go missing:


In 2022-23 Police Scotland received 17856 missing person reports, which equates to 49 missing reports each day. 6 in 10 missing incidents are for children, almost all these child incidents are for 12–17-year-olds, and 4 in 10 are for adults. (Police Scotland data 2022/23). There is no definitive list of reasons why people go missing. Each missing incident is unique, and there may be a number of factors that have caused a person to go missing.

Why adults go missing:

Framework definition

According to The Framework a missing person is:

Framework Objectives and Toolkit contents


Information sharing opportunities along a person’s missing journey

The Herbert Protocol, Purple Alert and The Philomena Protocol


Reporting Flowchart for Looked After Children

Return Discussion Aide Memoire (Police Scotland)


Return Discussions

Missing People’s Free Core Services for Scotland

Support Services Resources


Checklist of Key Local Processes and Procedures

Education Resources