How our new training course ‘Children Missing from Care’ can help front-line professionals

Missing People have almost 30 years of experience in supporting missing children, young people, and adults, their families, and professionals. One of the crucial ways we support professionals is to equip them with the best knowledge, skills, and expertise. This is through our range of training courses aimed at improving local and national multi-agency responses to missing episodes. With thanks to The Timpson Foundation, we are pleased to announce our latest e-learning course ‘Children Missing from Care.’

Why it matters

Children are more likely to be reported missing, with 215,000 incidents being under-18-year-olds. Repeat missing incidents account for more than 50% of all reports received by police forces in the UK.

Some children and young people are at more risk of going missing than others. 1 in 10 looked after children (children in care) go missing compared to 1 in 200 children, nationally. Looked after children are reported missing on average 6 times before they are 18-years old.

In 2020, more than 12,000 looked after children went missing in over 81,000 missing incidents. Furthermore, nearly 65% were reported missing more than once. These statistics highlight the increased risk for these children and the vital importance of getting the national and local professional response right.

Going missing is often an indicator that something is wrong in a child’s life. It may be a warning sign of harm that the child is experiencing at the hands of others, or that they are unhappy in their placement or not receiving the support they need. However, there is also increasing evidence that looked after children are sometimes reported missing unnecessarily. Particularly in situations when their peers outside the care system would not be. All professionals involved in the care of looked after children need to find the right balance; Reporting young people as missing when they are at risk and in need of safeguarding but not over-reporting, which can lead to a breakdown in trust of the police, and relationships with carers.

Who is this training for?

Considering all of the above, we have launched a new e-learning course ‘Children Missing from Care,’ aimed at professionals responsible for the care of children looked after, including foster carers, children’s home staff, and social workers.

The training aims to:

  • Equip front-line professionals to better support children at risk of going missing.
  • Reduce inappropriate reporting.
  • Better communicate with children on their return from missing.
  • Improve relationships with children missing from care.

How did we develop it?

The training has been developed following consultation with care-experienced young people themselves, and is based on their experiences, stories, and views of from their own experiences of being reported missing. The 1.5-hour session uses interactive content and tasks to build professional knowledge and confidence in effective responses.

The training will help to reduce inappropriate reporting by supporting professionals to understand the impact of over-policing care-experienced young people, and by providing good practice examples of what should happen before a report is made to the police.


We are offering this training at an introductory price of £15 per person per license.

Bulk purchase prices are £12.00 per person, per license for orders of more than 50 licenses.


”This was a fantastic training module that ties in research, legislation, best practice and the voice of the child and practitioners in well. I really liked the training it is was very detailed in each step covering a range of areas. I feel this training is imperative to be rolled out.”

– Front-line registered manager

Our long-term aims

Our long-term ambition is for this course to become mandatory for all front-line professionals who work with children looked after, helping agencies to reduce repeat missing and to provide the best quality response for children in care. This can be achieved through our partnership work with children’s services around the country and professional bodies such as The Children’s Cross Regional Arrangements Group to raise national awareness of this course.

Find out more

If you are interested in finding out more about this training or any of our other events for professionals, please email or click the button below to find out more.

Find out more



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