Report of the Director of Community & Children’s Services.
To be read in conjunction with the non-public appendix at Agenda Item 19.
Members received a report of the Director of Community & Children’s Services relative to Children Missing from Care, Home and Education. Members enquired about how services respond to missing from education and if young people do not have a return home interview. The following points were highlighted:
· As a result of the Chadrack Serious Case Review, guidance has been reviewed regarding how to address children missing from education. Whilst such cases were previously considered attendance issues, a flow chart has been circulated as guidance to staff on recognising such instances as potential safeguarding and wellbeing issues.
· If a young person refuses to have a return home interview once they have returned, the service will assess what the service response should be to ensure the young person is safe and has an opportunity to share issues or concerns that will help to prevent any future re-occurrence. This could be via meeting with Social Worker, Independent Visitor or advocate.
· New circumstances for children coming from abroad can be difficult to adjust to (new environment; no family; fewer societal restrictions) and staff aim to address issues such as safety, consent and sexuality as soon as possible. Risk assessments are undertaken to mitigate risk of young people going missing after they arrived in the country. The Missing from Home, Care and Education procedures are regularly reviewed to ensure there are robust responses to any episodes of missing.
With respect to placing children in schools, Members enquired as to whether there have been instances where a child cannot be allocated a place in schools. Officers reported that this has not been an issue, although the first choice of school is not always available.
RESOLVED, that – the report be received and its contents noted.