What is the Philomena Protocol?

The Philomena Protocol is a scheme that asks carers to identify children and young people who are at risk of going missing, and to record vital information about them that can be used to help find them quickly and safely.

The carer adds details about the young person to the Philomena Protocol form (which you can download below), including:

  • a physical description
  • who their friends are
  • a recent photograph
  • whether they've gone missing before

When to fill in the form

If you're concerned that a young person might go missing, fill in part one of the form as soon as possible. Please make sure you review the details and keep them up to date.

You should only fill in part two of the form if the young person actually goes missing. Part two includes things like what the young person was wearing at the time and where they were last seen.

When should the form be given to the police?

The police only need to see the completed form if the child or young person is reported as missing.

Where should the form be kept?

Keep the form somewhere secure, but where you, or any other carer, can find it quickly day or night. It doesn't matter if you keep the form on a computer or as a printed copy.

What if a young person goes missing?

If you discover the person's gone missing, you should try to find the them immediately. If you can't, call 101 and tell the call handler that you have a Philomena Protocol form.

If it's an emergency and the young person is in danger, phone 999 now. 

If a young person leaves your care

The Philomena Protocol is used in many areas nationally, so please transfer the form to the new carer, who will be responsible for keeping it safe and up to date. Similarly, if a young person transfers to your care from another area, check whether they have an existing Philomena Protocol in place that you would now be responsible for.