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'A Safer Return' report explores the experiences of children who have been missing

Missing People have launched new research titled 'A Safer Return', which provides analysis of the value of return home interviews in identifying risk and ensuring returning missing children are supported.

Key findings include:

  • 1 in 7 (14%) of the children who completed return home interviews (RHIs) had been sexually exploited and nearly half disclosed high risk warning signs of sexual exploitation
  • Nearly 1 in 10 (8%) had been a victim of criminal or other forms of exploitation
  • 1 in 5 of the children and young people disclosed information about mental health issues, one in ten was at risk of self-harm and 4% were at risk of suicide.

And recommendations are:

  • All children should continue to be offered RHIs, regardless of police risk assessment level.
  • RHIs should be used as an opportunity for early identification of risks to address a range of different harms associated with missing.
  • All RHI services should include the opportunity for follow up support.
  • Findings from RHIs should be effectively shared, recorded and included in safety planning.
  • The Department for Education and Ofsted should provide more robust oversight to ensure that statutory guidance is adhered to.

The web link is:

The full report is: