Statutory guidance says that local councils should offer a return interview to all children and young people who run away or go missing from their family home or care.
In Leeds, the Youth Service are responsible for talking to children and young people who have been reported as missing. All the members of the team are Youth Work qualified. We work for the council but are separate from other services such as education or social work.
‘Return interview’ sounds quite formal, but it’s just a conversation with your child and a chance for your child to talk to us about the time they were reported as missing.
When will a Return interview to take place?
The return interview will be offered within 72 hours of the child’s return from being missing. It should take less than an hour and we can meet your child somewhere that they feel safe and comfortable such as school, youth centre or at home.
We will ask questions such as; why they went missing, what happened while they were away and what might reduce the likelihood of you being reported missing again.
What happens next?
At the end of their meeting, your child will decide, with the Youth Worker if there is anything either of them need to do. This might mean that a plan is agreed to address any issues identified during the return interview. The plan may include a referral to other support services or voluntary agencies.
The Youth Worker might talk to you as part of this process. If you have any questions and would like to speak to them, phone the Youth Service on 0113 3786840 and request a call back.