Child Exploitation and Online Protection Centre (CEOP)
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New suite of resources to support missing children and families

Resources aimed at helping children at risk of running away and the families of missing children, including an awareness raising film for use by frontline practitioners has been launched by the Child Exploitation and Online Protection (CEOP) Centre.

This coincides with the launch recently of the Government’s Missing Children and Adults Strategy.

Improving support for missing children and families at a local level is a key goal of CEOP and the wide range of partners it is working with around this issue.

The key message of ‘My Choice’, a short animated film, is that however bad things may seem, children do have a choice about running away from home or care and there is support out there whatever their circumstances. It has been developed in collaboration with representatives from local authorities, the police, schools, the voluntary sector as well as independent experts.

My Choice can be used in a variety of settings and within a local context. It specifically looks at missing children and some of the risks they face.

It will form part of a new CEOP web area aimed at simplifying access by children and families to support services. The area has been developed in partnership with organisations including Parents and Abducted Children Together (PACT), Missing People, the Children’s Society and the NPIA’s Missing Persons Bureau.

Peter Davies, Chief Executive of CEOP, said: “I am pleased that the Government has recognised in its strategy that missing children have specific vulnerabilities and face specific risks.

The reasons why children run away from home are complex and diverse but running away or going missing is often an indicator of wider vulnerability in a child’s life. Organisations, including PACT, the Children’s Society, Missing People and the Missing Person’s Bureau have done a lot of work increasing understanding of the dangers they face while away from home or care. We know from our own research that while any child can be the victim of child sexual exploitation, children who regularly go missing from home are particularly exposed to it.

CEOP’s role as the national focus for missing children is about supporting and enhancing the delivery of services to vulnerable children and their families at a local level. Local forces will continue their vital work when a member of the public needs to report a child missing.

By using our networks and reach we want to further spread understanding, awareness, and share expertise and best practice so that children and their families are best supported.”

The new web area and film can be viewed in our Missing and Runaway section

Related links

Missing children and adults strategy (source - Home Office)