Skip to main content

Missing Children

Volume 461: debated on Monday 4 June 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills how many children went missing from social services care in each of the last 10 years; how many went missing for over one month; and how many of those children he estimates may have been trafficked. (129997)

The number of looked after children who went missing from care in 1997, the last five years and the number who went missing for over one month in 2006 is shown in the following table. Information on the number of children who went missing and who may have been trafficked is not collected by the Department for Education and Skills (DfES).

Children looked after who were reported missing in the years ending 31 March 1997 and 2002 to 20061,2,3,4,5,6

Numbers

England

19971,5

20022,6

20032,6

20041,6

20051,6

20061,6

Children missing from placement during the year

570

1,000

1,200

830

970

970

Children missing for more than 30 days

370

1 Figures are taken from the SSDA903 return which in 2003-04, 2004-05 and 2005-06 covered all looked after children.

2 Figures are taken from the SSDA903 one-third sample survey.

3 Historical figures may differ from older publications. This is mainly due to the implementation of amendments sent by some local authorities after the publication date of previous materials.

4 To maintain the confidentiality of each individual child, data at national level are rounded to the nearest 100 if they exceed 1,000 or to the nearest 10 otherwise.

5 In 1997, a child is recorded with a missing placement if he/she is absent for more than seven days from his/her agreed placement.

6 In 2002 to 2006 a child is recorded with a missing placement if he/she is absent for more than 24 hours from his/her agreed placement.