Missing and Absent

Missing and absent children in Central Bedfordshire. 

Every year over 100,000 children run away in the UK. Running away is a sign that something is wrong in a child’s life and may be at risk of harm.

To view the Pan Bedfordshire Safeguarding Children who Run Away and Go Missing from Home and Care protocol please click here.

Repeat Missing Episodes

Repeatedly going missing should not be viewed as a normal pattern of behaviour. For example, repeat episodes of a child going missing can indicate sexual exploitation. If a child has run away two or more times, consideration should be given to undertaking an Early Help Assessment or if the indications are that the child is a Child in Need, a referral to Children’s Social Care in conjunction with the threshold criteria.

Statutory Guidance

The Statutory Guidance on Children Who Run Away or Go Missing from Home or Care 2014 is issued under Section 7 of the Local Authority Social Services Act 1970 and states that local authorities must offer an independent return interview to all children who run away or go missing from their family home or care’

 Please click here to view the Statutory Guidance

Return Home Interviews in Central Bedfordshire

In Central Bedfordshire, any young person who has been reported as missing or absent to the police or to another organisation will be offered a return home interview by our independent return home interview services. The return home interview service will accept referrals via the access and referral hub from parent’s carers and professionals. Please contact 0300 300 8585 or Access&Referral@centralbedfordshire.gov.uk for further information or to make a referral.

A return home interview is an in-depth conversation with a young person who has run away. It should be led by an independent, trained professional whom the young person trusts.


If you have intelligence to share with Bedfordshire police about a missing young person, please click here: Multi-Agency Information Submission Form. Please note that this not a replacement for a safeguarding referral.    

Please click here: Multi-Agency Information Submission Form Guidance for further information. 

Useful Resources

The Children’s Society has produced a number of leaflets to provide information and advice for parents and carers, young people, education and youth work staff about running away.

Help and Support

Runaway Helpline

Free, 24/7 confidential support
Runaway Helpline is here if you are thinking about running away, if
you have already run away, or if you have been away and come back.
Call or Text : 116 000
Email : 116000@runawayhelpline.org.uk
To download a poster for young people you are working with and a professionals leaflet or to order materials please click here





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