To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department, pursuant to the Answer of 26 January 2023 to Question 129806 on Asylum: Children, if she will provide an indicative timescale for making an assessment of the potential merits of establishing an inquiry into missing asylum-seeking unaccompanied minors
6 March 2023
When a young person goes missing the ‘missing persons protocol’ is followed and led by our directly engaged social workers. The MARS (Missing After Reasonable Steps) protocol is followed for any looked after child who goes missing from a care setting, including the unaccompanied asylum seeking children (UASC) hotels. When used correctly, similar protocols within police forces have safely reduced the number of missing episodes from placements by 36%.
The Home Office and Department for Education (DfE) have established a UASC taskforce which was convened in November 2022 which has been meeting regularly. This multiagency taskforce includes representatives for the Home Office, DfE, Department of Levelling Up Housing and Communities (DLUHC), the Association of Directors if Children’s Services (ACDS) and the Local Government Association (LGA) to consider strategic and tactical solutions to the management of UASC. It is co-chaired by DfE Permanent Secretary, Susan Acland-Hood and Home Office Second Permanent Secretary, Patricia Hayes.
The Home Office will continue to address risks of young people going missing and work with partners to locate them if they do.