Missing children and young people at sports events: procedure and flow chart

Last updated: 04 Apr 2013 Topics: Safeguarding standards

 A sample missing child procedure for clubs and organisations to follow during a sports event. The download of the sample procedure (PDF) also includes a handy flow chart, which illustrates the process.

Example procedure for a missing child at an event

If a child goes missing during an event, the club/organisation will apply the following procedure:

  • ensure that all other children continue to be supervised appropriately while a search for the child concerned is carried out
  • organise the remaining available responsible adults to conduct a search of the surrounding area allocating each individual to a specific area; request all those searching report back within a short time, dependent on the size of the area being searched
  • if the child cannot be found after a good search of the immediate surroundings, contact the child’s parents to advise them of the concern and reassure them that everything is being done to locate the child
  • make a note of the circumstances in which the child has gone missing and where he/she was last seen and prepare a detailed physical description of the child, to include their hair and eye colour, approximate height and build and clothing he/she was wearing, as this will be required by the police
  • report the concern to the police if the search is unsuccessful and no later than 20 minutes after the initial missing person report if the search is ongoing
  • follow police guidance if further action is recommended and maintain close contact with the police
  • report the incident to the designated safeguarding officer
  • ensure that you inform all adults involved including the parents, searchers and police if at any stage the child is located

Download the sample procedure (PDF)