Deepen understanding by using Return from Missing

September 3, 2019

The third new One app feature to be launched in 2019 is Return from Missing.

1 in 10 have experienced harm

Children and young people who go missing are generally at greater risk of poor outcomes. Research shows that 1 in 10 have experienced harm while they are missing.

Start of the process to safeguard young people

When a young person returns from being missing it is vital that they are offered a safe way to discuss the reasons they went missing in the first place, any risks they may have faced while away, or any harm they or others may have experienced while they were missing. Those risks include being exploited through sexual or criminal activity as well as other forms of abuse. This discussion should signal the start of the process to safeguard these young people from further harm.

Statutory guidance already stipulates that all children should be offered a return interview after every episode of being missing. Research by The Children’s Society shows that on average the number of missing incidents with return interviews being completed is approximately 50 percent. Mind Of My Own One app’s Return from Missing will help to ensure that the other 50 percent get to share this vital information in a way that suits them and encourages them to disclose in an appropriate way.

All too often the information gleaned from return from missing work is light on detail. Young people are often tired, hungry and in need of their home comforts. We know that young people often find it easier to use a digital means to talk to people supporting them.

Enhancing good practice and direct work

We do not intend Return from Missing to replace any good practice or a meaningful piece of direct work. As it works in many other areas of practice, the One app will support this human interaction, giving a structured and less intimidating way for young people to express themselves.

The information provided through the One app and the return interview should help you identify any risk or harm done to the child before or during the time they were missing. It can also enable the identification of useful intelligence that will help in both your safeguarding and prevention of future missing episodes.

If you are interested in receiving more information about Return from Missing please contact us on hello@mindofmyown.org.uk or if you are a member of our Mind Of My Own community speak to your account manager who will be only too pleased to assist.

Read about our other new features, My Wellbeing and My Education

We have worked with young people who went missing and we keenly appreciate the need for workers to understand these episodes from the young person’s perspective in order to support and safeguard them and prevent future occurrences. That’s why we are proud to offer this new addition to the Mind Of My Own suite of products.

Jill Thorburn and Yvonne Anderson

Owner-directors