Missing Child Policy
Reviewed by: Phil Parker
Next Review date: September 2024
Statement of intent
We believe that the health & safety of children is of paramount importance. Our setting will work with children, parents and the community to ensure the safety of children and to give them the very best start in life. We take every care to ensure children cannot leave the security of the setting unattended and have strict procedures and policies (see FUNDA Health and Safety Policy and other related documents) in place to ensure as much as possible that this cannot happen.
In the unlikely event that it is found that a child is missing we will act in accordance with the following procedures.
If a child goes missing whilst at the setting premises;
- The key person will speak with the Manager or person in charge who will nominate as many staff as possible to thoroughly search the settings indoor and outdoor areas;
- The register is checked to make sure no other child has also gone astray;
- The Manager talks to the key person to establish what happened;
- All staff will be extra vigilant to any potentially suspicious behaviour or persons in and around the settings grounds.
- The staff will be careful not to create an atmosphere of panic and to ensure that the other children remain safe and adequately supervised.
- If after 10 minutes of thorough searching the child is still missing, the manager or person in charge will inform the police and then the child's parent/carer;
- The Manager contacts FUNDA Chief Operating Officer, Phil Parker, who will arrive at the venue as soon as possible.
- While waiting for the police and the parent/carer to arrive, searches for the child will continue. During this period, other staff members will maintain as normal a routine as is possible for the rest of the children attending the setting.
The key person/staff will write an incident report detailing:
- The date and time of the report;
- What staff/ children were in the group/outing;
- When the child was last seen in the group/outing;
- What has taken place in the group/outing since then;
- The time it is estimated that the child went missing.
A conclusion is drawn as to how the breach of security happened.
In the first instance, the Site Leader, Head Of Quality Assurance and Senior Management will carry out a full investigation of the missing child. This will include taking written statements from all the staff present at the time, or who were on the outing.
There may be action taken against any member of staff who they believe is found to be at fault
If the incident warrants a police investigation all staff will co-operate fully. In this case, the police will handle all aspects of the investigation, including interviewing staff. Social Services may be involved if it seems likely that there is a child protection issue to address.
The incident is reported under RIDDOR arrangements and is recorded in the incident book; the Local Authority Health and Safety Officer may want to investigate and will decide if there is a case for prosecution. Ofsted will be informed.