Missing Children Policy

If a child in your care goes missing, the following guidelines, which are based on the ECB guidelines, clarify what action you must take.

Ensure that all other children in your care are looked after appropriately while you organise a search for the missing child.


Inform the child’s parents, if they are present at the event, or make sure that they are called and told that their child is missing.  Reassure them that you are doing all you can to locate their child. The child may contact their parents directly so this action is very important.


Organise all available adults by areas to be searched, to ensure that all places are searched fully.  Send adults immediately to any exits to the venue to ensure the child has not left, and  also to any obvious potential danger spots such as nearby lakes or rivers.


Search the area in which the child has gone missing including changing rooms, toilets, public and private areas and the club’s grounds.

Make sure that all those searching report back to a nominated adult at a specific point. This nominated person should remain at this point and make a note of events, including a detailed physical description of the child. This must include: approximate height, build, hair and eye colour as well as the clothing the child was wearing and where and when they were last seen. All this will be required by the police if the search is unsuccessful.

The police should be notified no later than 20 minutes after the child’s disappearance, even if your search is not complete.   If the police recommend further action before they get involved, follow their Guidance.
When the child is located, ensure you inform all adults involved including the parents, searchers and the police if by then, they are involved.

All missing child incidents MUST BE notified at the very earliest opportunity to the Club Welfare Officer, who must immediately notify the County Welfare Officer, and they must then notify the ECB Safeguarding Team.

Hopefully no child will ever go missing from your team. If they do, it is important to remember most children are found within a few minutes of their disappearance.

Written: July 2014
Reviewed: September 2017