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Missing from home or care and child sexual exploitation

Missing from home or care services identify reasons for young people running away and provide support. Our services also prevent or stop child sexual exploitation, raise awareness amongst young people and provide training for professionals, parents and carers.

Every three minutes a child runs away from home or care1. They could be forced out, fleeing conflict or abuse, responding to peer pressure or an exploitative relationship. 40% of children who experienced sexual exploitation were reported missing from home or care at least once2, which is why our services combine support for those at risk of or who have experienced CSE.

Visit our Child Exploitation and Missing Awareness poster hub


Our approach

We are responsive to the needs of each young person and, having listened to their story, we build trusting relationships and tailor our support to meet their individual needs. This may include return to home interviews, CSE screening and assessments, and interventions which enable young people to recognise and reflect upon the causes, signs and symptoms of CSE. Working closely with a range of partner agencies including Police and children’s social care ensures we can respond quickly in an integrated manner.

Responsive to needs
We operate a flexible and needs-led service including outreach work to support children disengaged from services, group work for young people to identify risks and provide peer support, one-to-one therapeutic interventions, non-appointment based interventions and out of hours support.

Using data to inform best practice
Catch22 uses a bespoke database for recording and monitoring children and young people who go missing more than once. This enables us to target resources for those most at risk and share intelligence with Police and statutory agencies including children’s services and Local Safeguarding Children Boards (LSCBs) across county lines.

We have close working links with Troubled Families services to provide support across the whole family and to address underlying issues, strengthen the family’s ‘pull’ factors and reduce risk.

Raising awareness and developing skills
We raise awareness for young people through preventative and targeted workshops and provide bespoke training for practitioners on the use of Catch22’s CSE screening tool. We also support workforce development through training social workers and school staff, engage with foster carers and parents through schools and parenting forums, and train other professionals including emergency response and hospital staff.

Using volunteers
We recruit, train and supervise a diverse range of volunteers, including role models who undertake home visits to best support families.

Our impact

Cheshire has seen a 41% reduction in annual reported missing person incidents since Catch22 began working there through our Pan Cheshire Missing and Child Sexual Exploitation Service.

From January 2014 to May 2015:

  • 71% of children we worked with reported an increase in safety and security
  • 57% of children we worked with reported an increase in wellbeing
  • 20-25% of children we worked with do not go missing again following a single intervention.

‘As missing person coordinator I link in with Catch22 daily and believe the service they provide to be invaluable in helping to keep children safe.’
Police Missing Person Coordinator

This film tells the real story of a young person supported by Catch22:

All names have been changed and the young person is portrayed by an actor

Further information

Get in touch

Contact us if you have an enquiry about Catch22’s missing from home or care and child sexual exploitation services and a member of the team will get back to you as soon as possible.

Please note that we are unable to provide emergency support or urgent responses through this enquiry form.

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How we manage your data

We manage the data you provide in accordance with the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).

  • The Data Controller (the organisation that determines how your data is managed) is Catch22Contact us if you have a query about how your data is managed.
  • The Data Processor (the organisation that does data processing on behalf of Catch22) is The Bureau.
  • We are committed to giving you (the Data Subject in legal terms) an easy way to exercise your eight rights under the GDPR.
  • We process your data for the purpose of receiving your message and responding to it under the lawful basis of consent, which you give by submitting the form above. You have the right to withdraw consent for us to contact you at any time and the right to lodge a complaint with a supervisory authority, which in the United Kingdom is the Information Commissioner’s Office.
  • We retain your data for as long as you allow us to do so. You can exercise your right to erasure at any time.

More information about how we manage all the data we collect can be found in our privacy policy.

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1 Missing Persons: Data and Analysis 2012/2013, National Crime Agency (November 2014)
2 Out of Mind, Out of Sight, CEOP (June 2011)