New figures show 15 children under the care of Hackney Council have gone missing

Hackney Town Hall

Hackney Town Hall - Credit: Archant

There have been 15 children under the care of Hackney Council who have gone missing, new figures reveal.

A total of nine looked after children who were placed outside the borough and six children placed inside Hackney were reported missing for more than 24 hours between 2009 - 2012.

Freedom of Information requests sent by the London Assembly Liberal Democrats were sent to all 32 London borough councils. In neighbouring Islington, there were 40 children in care reported missing. In Haringey there were 55.

The highest number of incidents in Hackney were recorded in 2012 when there were seven, compared with just one or none in previous years. Figures for 2013 were not submitted.

Children in care who run away are “particularly vulnerable” and at risk of sexual exploitation, according to Government guidance on the issue.

An Ofsted report published last year highlighted concerns about all local authorities’ work on missing children in care. It found that risk management plans were inadequate, placements were unstable and follow-up checks after the children returned to care were not taking place.

A spokeswoman at Hackney Council said: “Sadly some young people will have led very disrupted lives prior to coming into care and a small number of them continue to experience the impact of this disruption.

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“The figures quoted in the report refer to a number of incidents involving the same small group of young people. Police, social workers, teachers, carers and families work closely together to ensure that these most vulnerable young people are protected and supported.

“With persistence and care from adults many can be supported to turn their lives around.”