If you are in immediate danger or know another child who is then please call 999
What it is
When adults and the police talk about someone missing, they mean: “anyone whose whereabouts is unknown whatever the circumstances of disappearance. They will be considered missing until located and their well-being or otherwise established”. This means if the police don’t know where someone is they will be known as missing until they know for certain what has happened.
You may not plan to run away from home or care. Sometimes it can be a last-minute decision which may result in you not being prepared, leaving with no money, no phone or warm clothes and may have no idea about where you might get help.
When a child or young person goes missing their family and those caring for them will be worried about them. Usually, a family member or carer will contact the police and let them know what has happened. Sometimes the police may search friends’ homes, local parks and areas where the person is known to visit. Checks on the person’s mobile phone and social media may also be carried out to locate them.
All of this is done because everyone is worried about the missing person and it is important to make sure they are safe and well and no harm has come to them.
When a missing young person returns home or into care Barnet social care will offer them an independent return home interview. This sounds formal but looks at it as a conversation where the young person is given a chance to talk to about the time they were reported missing.
What to do if you are worried
If things are really bad at home or in care and you are thinking of running away or have already run away, always talk to an adult you trust or the police. They may be able to help you work out the problems and provide support. It is most important that you get support and someone who will keep you safe.
If you are in immediate danger please call the police on 999 straight away. Please also tell an adult you trust who will be able to help you.
The following organisations offer advice and support:
ChildLine are available to phone 24 hours a day on 0800 1111 or you can chat online or email them.
Runaway Helpline can help you if you are thinking of running away or know someone who is missing. You can chat with someone 1-2-1, call for free, text for free or email.
Homeless young people, aged 16-25, can stay with Centrepoint for up to two years, and Centrepoint will support you to live independently.