Childcare Office

Missing Children Policy

Cambridge Universities' Holiday Playscheme (CUHP) has the highest regard for the safety of the children in our care. Playworkers will always be extremely aware of the potential for children to go missing during sessions.

Even when all precautions are properly observed, emergencies can still arise. Therefore Playworkers will undertake periodic head counts, especially at the transition points between sessions (in addition to the registration procedures set out in the Arrival and Departures policy). If for any reason a Playworker cannot account for a child's whereabouts during a session at CUHP, the following procedure will be activated:

  • The Playscheme Co-ordinator and the rest of the Playworker team must be informed that the child is missing.
  • A thorough search of the entire premises will commence.
  • The Playworkers will be careful not to create an atmosphere of panic and to ensure that the other children remain safe and adequately supervised.
  • Playworkers will conduct a search of the area surrounding the premises.
  • All Playworkers will be extra vigilant to any potentially suspicious behaviour or persons in and around CUHP.
  • If after 10 minutes of thorough searching the child is still missing, the Playscheme Co-ordinator will inform the police and then the child's parents.
  • While waiting for the police and the parents to arrive, searches for the child will continue. During this period, other Playworkers will maintain as normal a routine as is possible for the rest of the children at the Cambridge Universities' Holiday Playscheme.
  • The Playscheme Co-ordinator will be responsible for meeting the police and the missing child's parents. The Playscheme Co-ordinator will co-ordinate any actions instructed by the police, and attempt to comfort and reassure the parents.

Once the incident is resolved, the Playscheme Co-ordinator and the Playworkers will review relevant policies and procedures and implement any necessary changes (paying particular note to the relevant provisions of the Risk Assessment for that particular CUHP venue).

All incidents of children going missing from CUHP will be recorded on a Incident Record Sheet, and in cases where either the police or social care have been informed, Ofsted will also be informed, as soon as is practicable.

Local police number 0345 456 456 4 or 999 in an emergency.

Policy reviewed on 6 December 2011.