Children can be vulnerable simply by virtue of their age and inexperience and when a child goes missing, this risk can be greater still.
A child going missing is often a sign of wider vulnerabilities in that child’s life. They may be experiencing violence at home, alcohol or substance misuse, and difficulties at school, bullying or sexual abuse.
The risks they face during periods away from home or care can be severe and include contact by adults who wish them harm and sexual exploitation. The damage done can last a lifetime.
If you are worried about a child please contact the NSPCC Helpline which offers advice and support if you are concerned about the safety or welfare of a child. They are available 24/7 on 0808 800 5000 and online.
Calls are free and you don’t have to say who you are. They provide services in several languages and for deaf and hard of hearing people. For information on ways to contact the NSPCC see its website.
Help for children and young people is available through ChildLine on 0800 111
If you have any concerns about a specific child’s welfare / report to Social Services or the police.