If you’re feeling unhappy or unsettled, you might feel like running away from everything.
The truth is that running away doesn’t help to sort things out.
The first step to making things better is to talk to someone that you trust. This could be a:
- foster Carer
- social worker
If you don’t want to talk to someone that you know, you can also contact:
- Missing People - call the Runaway Helpline where someone will listen to you and offer support
What happens if you go missing?
If you go missing, your carers will have to tell the police and your social worker. To help keep you safe, they will need to share personal information with the police like:
- an up to date photo of you
- contact details of your friends and family
- detailed information about your situation and any particular risks, like needing to take medication, people and places that are not safe for you to visit
When you return, a police officer will talk to you about what happened whilst you were missing, this is called the ‘vulnerability check'.
Your social worker will also meet with you to make sure you are ok. They will also offer you a ‘Missing Chat’ with an independent person who doesn’t work for social services.
What is a Missing Chat?
A Missing Chat is exactly as it says; it is an opportunity for you to talk freely to an independent person about how you are feeling and the reasons why you went missing and what help and support you might need. It will take place somewhere that is safe and comfortable for you, most importantly, having a ‘Missing chat’ is your choice.
Who will you speak to?
Missing Chats workers are from the Involvement team, and are independent from a social care team. You might have a Missing Chat with Anna Coates, Lucy Stovall or Annette Masters.
Why should I have a missing chat?
The Involvement Team talk to lots of young people who are go missing. They understand that it can be difficult at times, and sometimes it can feel like decisions have been made for you that you do not always agree with. Talking to us about what is wrong can help you find a way of solving the problem.
Whatever your problem is, they can help you think about the best way to deal with it. We won’t judge you or tell you what to do.
Is it confidential?
The Missing Chat is about exploring why you went missing the best way to solve any issues that might make you go missing again and in doing so we will need to share the discussions with appropriate workers to make sure your issues are dealt with. If you are not happy with a particular member of staff they will work with their manager to address the issues.