West Midlands Region - Recommendations for Core Standards in placement provision regarding the management of Young Runaways

The purpose of these core standards is:

  • To Promote consistency of management of young people who go missing from care across the region;
  • To promote consistent expectations of partner agencies in the management of these young people who are at risk;
  • To support independent care providers to have a degree of consistent expectations from placing Local Authorities.


These core standards should be read in conjunction with Protocol for Children Missing from Home and Care in the Walsall Safeguarding Children Partnership Child Protection Procedures.

  1. Pre placement discussion must specifically include information of the young person's history of running from home or care prior to the placement and this should be recorded within the pre-placement request form;
  2. For all children with a history of running there should be a Prevention and Action Plan completed. This will identify any known push or pull factors affecting the child's likelihood of running from the placement.

    The Prevention and Action Plan should agree services and persons responsible for actions to address these concerns through preventative support intervention and outline in detail an agreed action plan to be undertaken if the young person does go missing.

    The meeting to agree the Prevention and Action Plan should involve the placing authority, the local police, the placement provider, the young person and the parents if appropriate.

    The Prevention and Action Plan should also record the source for service delivery in relation to the welfare return interview;
  3. Where the young person is known to run from care there must be a risk assessment undertaken and a written plan agreed as to how these identified issues will be managed. There should be an interim plan in place where immediate risks are identified prior to placement.

    The risks assessment should include:
    • Risk posed to the young person (addressed within the Prevention and Action Plan);
    • Risk that this young person may pose to others (including risk that they will put pressure on and or engage them to also run from the care placement).
  4. Both the risk assessment and Prevention and Action Plan should be completed within 5 days of the young person being placed; this is in line with the post placement meeting timescales. Where it is an emergency placement, an interim plan needs to be agreed to address priority concerns regarding risk and likelihood of running. A full plan and risk assessment should then be completed within five days;
  5. The placing LA must ensure that the host local authority have been notified of the placement of the child in their area;
  6. The registered manager for the placement provider must establish the name of the young person's Independent Reviewing Officer;
  7. The placement provider to include, as part of their report to look after child reviews, the number of missing incidents between reviews and the outcome of the return interviews in relation to any push or pull factors identified that may need to be taken into account in the day to day care and longer term care planning.