The Philomena Protocol, an initiative to help locate and safely return children and young people in care as quickly as possible when they are missing, is being introduced jointly by Warwickshire Po...

The Philomena Protocol, an initiative to help locate and safely return children and young people in care as quickly as possible when they are missing, is being introduced jointly by Warwickshire Police and Warwickshire County Council.

The Protocol, originally launched in Durham, will roll out into residential homes across the county from 1st May 2021 following its success in other parts of the country.

The scheme encourages carers, staff, and families to compile useful information which could be used in the event of a young person going missing from care to help find them quickly and safely.

The streamlined joint approach is a step towards protecting some of the most vulnerable young people in Warwickshire. Any child in care who is at risk of going missing for any reason is encompassed within this protocol.

Warwickshire Police lead for Vulnerability, Detective Superintendent Pete Hill, said: “It is important we have in place a joined up approach to help prevent young people from going missing and to ensure that, if they do, we are able to respond swiftly and efficiently.”

The scheme will save time and resources but most importantly it has potential to save lives of our vulnerable people, by working with carers and staff in residential homes to establish patterns of behaviour, places they frequently visit, and if they do go missing completing a standardised form which will make the emergency services’ response to the enquiry more efficient.

John Coleman, Assistant Director - Children & Families, Warwickshire County Council, said: “This protocol will help to further enhance the excellent partnership working in place across Warwickshire aimed at protecting our young people in care when they are at their most vulnerable, enabling services to respond quickly to secure their safe return.”

If you require further information, or think you know someone who should be a part of the Philomena Protocol, please contact us via missing@warwickshire.pnn.police.uk.

Published: 30th April 2021