66 young people have gone missing from care over the last year

66 young people have gone missing from care over the last year
66 young people have gone missing from care over the last year

It is “crucial” the county council works to reduce the number of children going missing from care in Bucks, according to a council chief, after shocking figures were revealed last week.

Figures obtained from Bucks County Council showed the number of ‘looked after’ children disappearing from Bucks care rocketed over the last five years – after 66 young people went missing in 2017/18 compared with just five in 2013/14.

Concerning statistics also suggested just 64 of the 66 children who went missing last year have been recorded as found.

However this week a Bucks County Council spokesperson said they are unable to comment on the figures further due to “an ongoing police investigation”.

Deputy cabinet member for children’s services at BCC, Jean Teesdale, said it is vital the number of missing incidents are reduced “so children have a good start in life”.

She said: “Children and young people who go missing from care, even if only once, place themselves in positions of risk as well as potentially incurring other problems in their life in the longer-term.

“It’s crucial that we work to reduce these missing episodes to help give children a good start in life.

“In Buckinghamshire, we practice a joined up, multi-agency response involving all our partners to help ensure effective assessment of risk of going missing as well as supporting children.

“This includes carrying out independent ‘return interviews’ with all our children and young people in care who go missing, to understand what is happening in that young person’s life to trigger a missing episode, how we can improve things for them and help prevent further missing incidents.

“There is of course always more that we can do, and we continually review and evolve our procedures to ensure our working in this area is as robust as it can be.”