Missing or out of contact children

If you suspect a child is missing you should first contact the police and file a missing persons report. Listen to the police advice given and act accordingly.

To make a general enquiry about a missing child, contact:

Metropolitan Police Hounslow Metropolitan Police Service

National Missing Persons Helpline www.missingpersons.org
Telephone: 0500 700 700 - UK Freephone 24 hour helpline

Children who go missing from social services care invariably place themselves, and often others at risk. The reasons for their absences are varied and complex and cannot be viewed in isolation from their home circumstances and their experiences of care.

The police are frequent partners of social services in managing missing children and it is therefore important that staff in both agencies work together.

Missing children

In relation to missing children, a child (under the age of 18) is to be considered missing if he/she is absent from his/her place of residence without authority to a degree or in circumstances where the absence causes concern for safety of the child or there is potential danger to the public.

Absences that cause concern are those where staff or carers have no indication that a child is likely to return within a short space of time or where there is immediate concern for the child's safety.

Clearly some children absent themselves for a short period and then return; often their whereabouts are known. They are not considered at risk and usually they are testing boundaries. Sometimes children stay out longer than agreed either on purpose or unwittingly. This kind of boundary testing activity is well within the range of normal teenage behaviour and should not come within the definition of ‘missing’ for this protocol.

To make a specific enquiry about a Hounslow child who has absconded from care or considered to be a missing:

To make a specific enquiry about a Hounslow child who has absconded from care or considered to be a missing:

If the child has an allocated SW please contact their team directly. Alternatively please contact

Telephone 020 8583 6600 - option 1

Email – childrensocialcare@hounslow.gov.uk 

Children's Services
Hounslow House
7 Bath Road

Our office is open Monday to Thursday 9am to 5pm, Friday 9am to 4.45pm

Out of hours (after 5pm weekdays or weekends) call 020 8583 2222 and ask to speak to the duty social worker.

You do not have to give your name and your conversation will be treated confidentially.



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