Foster care
Carer guide
When children go missing

When children go missing

Children from all different kinds of situations will occasionally run away from home and do this for lots of different reasons. Some children run away regularly as it helps them to cope with their feelings or helps them to feel safe.

What to do if a child runs away

The first thing is to try to stay calm. Most children who run away return by themselves.

  • Tell your care team immediately
  • Refer to existing behaviour support or safety plans where they are in place
  • You may need to report a missing child to the Department and or the police. Your care team can give you advice about this

Try to find out the way the child left home and where they may have gone

  • Does it seem planned
  • What did they take with them
  • Did they leave a note
  • Are they likely to be safe
  • Contact parents of friends

Look after yourself and your family, as well as any other children you may be caring for. Keep the household running as normally as possible. Other children in your household, including any siblings of the child who has run away, are probably worried too. Allow them to talk about how they are feeling. Talk to your care team if you need any additional support for yourself.

Want to become a carer?
To become a foster carer your ability to care and nurture a child is what really matters.
To learn more, visit the LWB foster care website