East Midlands Missing Children and Families Alert System
The Missing Children and Family Alert System has been developed by the East Midlands Safeguarding Children Network much of which has been taken from NHS Scotland Missing Family Alert Protocol (2006).
It is clearly identified in Working Together to Safeguard Children (DCSF 2010) that all children should be safeguarded and have their welfare promoted. The purpose of the Missing Children and Family Alert (MCFA) process is to locate children who have disappeared from view following an undisclosed change of address and for whom there may be concerns about child welfare in respect of unmet need, vulnerability or abuse.
An alert system already exists within East Midlands Strategic Health Authority (SHA) to circulate information about missing vulnerable unborn babies (unborn baby alerts) and their mothers. The aim of MCFA process is to supplement the existing SHA and national arrangements to provide a standardised system for raising a missing family alert (MCFA) and the subsequent distribution of that alert.
Designated Nurses for safeguarding children for each PCT area within East Midlands SHA region will be responsible for the implementation and maintenance of the MCFA system. Each PCT will identify a responsible "Keeper of the Register" (Administrative Officer) whose role it will be to run a check on the NHS tracing system on a regular basis (advice weekly) for three months following the circulation of the MCFA. If information about children subject to a MCFA raises significant concern about a child's welfare a referral to Children Social Care and/or Police will be made in line with LSCB Procedures.