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NYAS Cymru launches new report….Missing the Point

Every year in Wales over 10,000 incidents of missing children and young people are reported to the police. That means a child is reported missing every hour.

There are many stakeholders across Wales who are concerned with how many children continue to go missing. This report builds on research conducted in 2017 by The Children’s Society in partnership with The Church in Wales, who explored this topic and made recommendations to UK and Welsh Government in ‘The Knowledge Gap’. This report, which builds on the 2017 paper, has been written by NYAS Cymru with support from The Children’s Society, and provides insight from the all-Wales Missing the Point steering group, made up of charities, third sector providers, Police and Crime Commissioners and public sector organisations.

The steering group is working to explore and reduce the links between care-experienced children and young people who experience serious crime, missing episodes and exploitation. Whilst there are many statutory-and non-statutory agencies across Wales undertaking excellent work to prevent children from going missing, our Freedom of Information (FOI) requests show that over 3,250 children went missing at least once in 2019/20. This year, more children went repeatedly missing across Wales, when compared to the last five years.

It is clear that more must be done to protect them, and to address the problems that result in children going missing.

In this report, we have focused on what agencies in Wales are doing to safeguard children before and after missing incidents occur, and what can be done to build upon pockets of existing ‘good practice’ in Wales in relation to missing children. We have looked at ‘trends’ in data on missing children in Wales, and included the professional insight of our Missing the Point steering group to identify gaps in provision and make recommendations to Welsh Government.

We would like to thank colleagues and organisations across the sector, who have shared their stories and expertise during the development of this report, including all contributors to the Missing the Point steering group and the participation of Welsh Government within that group. Our collective aim is for every child across Wales to feel safe and happy in their environment, and be safeguarded from risk as an absolute priority. NYAS Cymru and The Children’s Society hope that this report contributes to that action for change.

Read the report here: Missing the Point Report Nov. 2020