Myths & Facts

MYTH 1

If the staff in Residential units physically stopped the children and young people leaving the building they wouldnt be missing !

FACT

One of our Newport Residential Homes tried this approach for one month. It resulted in the missing reports jumping from 30 the previous month to 81 (the highest recorded month for the year. 

MYTH 2

It is the police responsibility to return Looked After Children when they have been reported missing.

FACT

The ALL WALES PROTOCOL MISSING CHILDREN CLEARLY STATES 5.13 

"When a child is located it is the responsibility of the placing social services department to make arrangements for transporting a child to his/her residence. The police will assist when resources allow.

MYTH 3

If I report my child or the child that I care for as missing to the police I will have social services looking into my life!

FACT

When a child is reported missing or absent without authority to Gwent Police, the Missing Children’s team will undertake a risk assessment to see if ‘your’ child is likely to present as missing again in future and if this is likely what sort of risks do they face. We may feel there are low risks so police would not necessary come to undertake form filling in the first instance, but missing episodes will be kept under review. Social services with only receive a referral in relation to the missing episode if the team are concerned that as a family you may need some help and support.

MYTH 4

No one listens when I tell them why I went missing or where I have been!

FACT

The Missing Children Team have a freelance youth worker attached to the team who will visit following a missing episode and listen to the reasons from your point of view, they will then advocate on your behalf in an attempt to make changes so you wont feel the need to be missing.

MYTH 5

More children go missing from care than from home.

FACT

60% of children reported missing are from home. 

MYTH 6

Children reported missing on a regular basis always return unharmed.

FACT

It is becoming increasingly recognised that children reported missing or absent on a regular basis are more likely to experience CSE.