Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Repeat missing child reports: Prevalence, timing, and risk factors

Bezeczky, Zoe and Wilkins, David ORCID: 2022. Repeat missing child reports: Prevalence, timing, and risk factors. Children and Youth Services Review 136 , 106454. 10.1016/j.childyouth.2022.106454

[thumbnail of C 1-s2.0-S0190740922000901-main.pdf]
PDF - Published Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

Download (600kB) | Preview


Purpose There are around 200,000 reports of missing children each year in England and Wales, and around 65 per cent of these relate to repeat disappearances. Such repeat disappearances are a social care and policing concern due to the multiple risks that children are exposed to while they are missing from home, including exploitation, substance misuse, and violence. Understanding the characteristics of children who go missing repeatedly could help services protect them and meet their needs more effectively. Design/methodology/approach This study uses police records to explore the characteristics of missing children (<18 years) from one Welsh local authority over a five-year period, and the prevalence, timing, and risk factors associated with repeat missing incidents. Findings There were 1,434 children reported missing and 4,922 missing episodes in the city between 2014 and 2019. Thirty-nine per cent of children were reported missing more than once, and these children accounted for 82 per cent of all missing child reports. Logistic regression found that children who were White and living in residential care were more likely to be reported missing repeatedly. Over half (57 per cent) of the children who were reported as missing more than once were reported missing for a second time within two months of the first incident. Originality This study highlights the volume and quick succession of repeat missing child reports. It provides evidence about some of the risk factors associated with repeat missing episodes.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Social Sciences (Includes Criminology and Education)
Children’s Social Care Research and Development Centre (CASCADE)
Publisher: Elsevier
ISSN: 0190-7409
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 8 March 2022
Date of Acceptance: 3 March 2022
Last Modified: 02 May 2023 19:20

Citation Data

Cited 1 time in Scopus. View in Scopus. Powered By Scopus® Data

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics