Children in Care: Missing Persons

Department for Education written question – answered on 16th January 2015.

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Photo of Andrew Griffiths Andrew Griffiths Conservative, Burton

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, how many children of what ages went missing from care in the most recent year for which figures are available.

Photo of Edward Timpson Edward Timpson The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education

The number of children looked after who went missing from their agreed placement for more than 24 hours during the year ending 31 March 2014 by age is shown in the below table. It is known in some cases that younger children who go missing from their agreed placement are the children of mothers who are themselves looked after.

Looked after children who went missing from their agreed placement by age1,2,3,4,5

Year ending 31 March 2014

Coverage: England

All children looked after during the year

97,950

All children looked after who went missing during the year

2,420

Under 1

10

1 to 4

20

5 to 9

20

10 to 15

1,100

16 & over

1,270

Source: SSDA903

1. Figures have been rounded to the nearest 10.

2. Figures exclude children looked after under an agreed series of short-term placements.

3. Where a child went missing from his/her placement on more than one occasion during the year, the child has only been counted once during the year.

4. Data on children missing from their agreed placement are known to be under reported for some local authorities. The Department for Education is currently engaged in a process to improve the reporting for this group of vulnerable children.

5. The number of looked after children who have a period where they are classed as being missing from their agreed placement for a period of more than 24 hours which started during the year ending 31 March.

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