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Immigration: Children in Care

Volume 481: debated on Thursday 23 October 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what estimate she has made of the number of under 18-year-olds that arrived unaccompanied in the UK and were taken into care but subsequently went missing in (a) 2007 and (b) 1997. (229035)

I have been asked for reply.

The numbers of children looked after who went missing from local authority care in each of the last five years are shown in the following tables. Further information can be provided only at a disproportionate cost.

(a) The number of children looked after who went missing from care for 24 hours or more, in each of the years ending 31 March 2003 to 2007, including asylum-seeking children, was as follows:

Number

2003

990

2004

730

2005

860

2006

890

2007

950

These figures account for all children looked after excluding children looked after under an agreed series of short term placements.

(b) The number of asylum-seeking children who went missing from care for 24 hours or more, in each of the years ending 31 March 2003 to 2007, was as follows:

Number

2003

70

2004

50

2005

70

2006

110

2007

90

Note:

For both answers, where a child went missing from his or her agreed placement, for 24 hours or more, on more than one occasion during the same year, he or she has been counted only once.

The figures show the number of children looked after that went missing for a period of 24 hours or more. Some of these may have subsequently returned to care.