PROTECT: To protect vulnerable missing people and reduce the risks of harm

Checklist of Key Local Processes and Procedures

This multi-agency checklist outlines the key local processes and procedures which Missing People recommend are in place for when people go missing. These local processes and procedures are crucial to ensure that local agencies work together effectively in their response to, and prevention of missing persons. A downloadable pdf version of the checklist is available below.

Download the checklist
  • An established local multi-agency partnership focused on the needs of missing people and those at risk of going missing
  • Regular multi-agency meetings focused on safeguarding and information sharing, and prevention around missing adults and/or children, especially those who are repeat missing persons
  • A local multi-agency missing person protocol which clearly outlines the roles and responsibilities of each local agency at each stage of a missing person’s journey
  • Appropriate local multi-agency information sharing protocols to ensure that relevant, appropriate information regarding a missing person and those at risk of going missing can be shared easily via an established pathway
  • A local Missing Person Champion is allocated, as per The Framework
  • All local agencies to adopt the national definition of a missing person, as per the Framework
  • All local agencies to incorporate a standardised approach to assess the risk of someone who is missing, based on, ‘low, medium and high’ categories of risk, as per The Framework
  • Return Discussions are offered to all returned missing persons, regardless of risk level or perceived vulnerability, as per the Framework.
  • Returned person to be offered a choice as to who completes their Return Discussion, as standard procedure, as per The Framework
  • Local multi-agency partnership to agree a clear pathway for the completion of all Return Discussions
  • Ensure staff who deliver Return Discussions receive training on how to deliver effective Return Discussions with children and adults. Please note: Missing People have designed e-training specifically to support front-line staff who will be delivering Return Discussions.  To find out more information about these e-training please email:
  • Risk assessments to be carried out as part of the care plan for all vulnerable children and adults, to assess the likelihood of the individual going missing. Where appropriate, this assessment should recommend actions that can be taken to help to prevent the individual from going missing
  • All local agencies to build signposting to support services into their protocol (including support for the families of missing persons).

Resources for educating young people about running away and staying safe

Missing People and Barnardos have worked together to create educational resources for young people about running away. You can download these resources by clicking the button below.

Download here

Children’s Rights

Children’s rights are essential protections and entitlements that ensure the well-being, development, and dignity of all children. Missing People recommend that children’s rights are embedded within local policies and procedures. This is crucial to ensure that local agencies are responding to and preventing children going missing.

Parents and families, communities, local and national governments, and organisations which work with children and families, all play a critical role in recognising, respecting and promoting children’s rights.

For more information about children’s rights visit:

Children’s rights – Human rights – (

Taking a children’s human rights approach: guidance – (

[ARCHIVED CONTENT] Introduction to Guidance – United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child implementation: introductory guidance – (

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