Guidelines For Missing Students

British Guardianship Child Missing Child Policy applies to all our students. This policy is required to ensure that missing or absent children (under the age of 18) (who are not under the duty of care of the school), are subject of an appropriate response by British Guardianship. This is to ensure that children are found and returned to an approved location as soon as practicable. The welfare of all of our students is our paramount responsibility. Every adult who works with British Guardianship has been trained to appreciate that he or she has a key responsibility for helping to keep all of the kids safe at all times and to ensure that every child is appropriately supervised.

We ask all schools and host families to meet the requirements of the British Guardianship Company by taking the following steps to minimize the risk of a child/children becoming lost whilst in my care. Ensure premises are secure and take steps to prevent unauthorized persons entering the premises. Ensure to supervise the child closely when visiting places in the community such as the local parks, museums and shops.

Teach the children about how to keep safe, so they also know the procedure to take should in the unlikely event, they become separated from you. Advise children what to do if they find themselves lost. With parental consent carry an up-to-date photograph of each child in your care. Recognize children’s age and stage of development of the children and will identify a meeting point on arrival at the venue should we get separated.

On discovering that a child has gone missing, you must:

Immediately make a search of the surrounding area. Request help from people around you. If you are in a public building, I will alert the staff of the situation and ask for assistance in searching for the miss¬ing child. If you are in a place where it is possible to seal off exits and access CCTV, then you need to request that this is done immediately. People involved in the search will be given a description of the child and what the child is wearing. As a rule, the younger the child, the more quickly secondary action is required. If the child is missing from your premises for more than 5 minutes, you should contact British Guardianship immediately. Designated Safeguarding Lead should be the contact point. In her absence, the CEO of the company should be con¬tacted to ensure that alternative arrangements are in place. This information to be communicated to all adults involved in the child care.

If the search is unsuccessful:

Designated Safeguarding Lead should contact the police as soon as it has been ascertained that the child is missing – this may well be within ten minutes. British Guardianship Staff should continue to search even after the police have been called.

Action to be taken once the child is found:

Talk to, take care of and, if necessary, comfort the child. Designated Safeguarding Lead will speak to the parents of children involved to discuss events and give an account of the incident. Designated Safeguarding Lead or the CEO will promise a full investigation (if appropriate involving Social Services/ Local Children Safeguarding Board) The investigation should involve all concerned providing written statements.

The report should be detailed covering: time, place, numbers of adults and children, when the child was last seen, what appeared to have happened, [the purpose of the outing], the length of time that the child was missing and how s/he appeared to have gone missing, lessons for the future. You need to consider any missing or lost child incident to be a ‘significant event’ and will therefore inform British Guardianship. We also ask you to review your actions to establish what went wrong and how it can be avoided in future.