Amberley O.S.H.C.

Children are our future, We are dedicated to their success!

2.19 Missing Child

We shall ensure all staff take appropriate and effective action in the event of a child being taken by an unauthorised person or child inexplicably disappearing (lost) from care.

Relevant Laws and other Provisions

The laws and other provisions affecting this policy include:

  • Education and Care Services National Law Act, 2010 and Regulations 2011
  • Family and Child Commission Act 2014
  • National Quality Framework
  • Victims of Crime Association Of Queensland Managing Trauma Program
  • Noah’s Ark Preschool UK
  • Queensland police


The missing child (children) should be identified and the last know whereabouts recorded. (The chances of finding a missing child safe are greatest if the child’s absence is noted quickly)

In the event that a child disappears inexplicably from the service, the supervising staff member shall immediately search the area for the missing child whilst ensuring supervision of existing children continues.

If the missing child is not found immediately the staff member shall notify the Nominated/Certified Supervisor.

The Nominated/Certified Supervisor shall coordinate a rapid and comprehensive search of the licensed area for the child.

In the event that the child is not located, the Police shall be notified by calling 000.

The child’s parents must be notified as soon as possible by the Nominated/Certified Supervisor explaining what action has been instigated.

All details relating to the incident shall be noted in order to help as much as possible in the investigation and search, including:

  • Date, time and location of the child immediately prior to the disappearance;
  • Who was responsible for the care of the child at the time;
  • What was the child wearing;
  • Any distinguishing features;
  • Circumstances surrounding disappearance;
  • Time parents/other agencies contacted.

A record of events should be documented by the Nominated/Certified Supervisor or by another member of staff delegated by them.


In all situations when confronted with an unauthorized person attempting to remove a child from the service (abductor), the staff member is to make every effort to ensure that the person is unsuccessful; however, they are not under any circumstances to respond physically to the intruder.

The staff member is to make every attempt to mentally note their physical features, particularly distinguishing features such as scars, types of clothing and details, their height in relationship to doorways or another fixed point in the building.

Details of any vehicle used, including model, colour, registration number etc. and direction of travel.

The staff member is to immediately notify the Nominated/Certified Supervisor of the event.

The Nominated/Certified Supervisor or other appropriate staff member shall immediately call the Police on 000.

The Nominated/Certified Supervisor shall the immediately call the parents, explaining what has occurred.

Dealing With Reactions

It is natural that the child’s parents will be frightened, distressed and angry. Other parents will be rightly concerned for the safety of their own children.  The service management and staff will also be shocked and upset at any lapse in security.

All emotions and reactions must be dealt with in a caring and understanding way.

Until the situation has been fully investigated by Police and management, no comment will be made to the media or other members of the service community.

The service will proactively and rapidly work with other agencies to provide any and all debriefing and counseling services for those affected by the incident.

Reviewed and updated 9 February 2015, Updated 12 May 2015

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