The Philomena Protocol focuses on the multiagency response to children who are reported missing by carers. Any child in care who is at risk of going missing for any reason is encompassed within this protocol.
The protocol, named after the Patron Saint of Babies, Infants and Youths, was introduced by Durham Constabulary and has been successfully implemented in a number of other forces across the country. The scheme focuses on the recording of vital information that is required to assist police with a missing person investigation.
Working alongside partners, it encourages carers, staff, guardians and families to collate useful information that could assist police in the event of a child going missing from care. This could include information in relation to the child’s friends, associates, previous missing episodes, health, all of which will assist in locating the young person and returning them safely and quickly to their care setting.
The document is owned, updated and shared by carers to ensure the most up to date information in recorded.
Treating ‘children as children’ is at the very heart of this work. Recognising and recording changes in behaviour and documenting this assists with assessing the risk the child could be at and focusses the response accordingly.
If you are a care provider and would like to find out more about the Philomena Protocol please contact: