Missing children and return home interviews

I am writing with a freedom of information request for data relating to the content and outcome of Return Home Interviews (RHIs) provided for runaway or missing children by your authority.

+ How many recorded instances of missing then returned children did you have in your authority per year between Jan 1st 2014-Jan 1st 2019? If you can provide a per month

+How many of these instances were children who had runaway more than once? If possible can you send a break down which shows a numbered list to indicate individual children and a second column with how many times they ran away? This would of course not include their name or any details. break down please do.

In response to both of these questions, Devon County Council do not hold a central record of the number of children have more than one notification of missing is not possible prior to April 2018 .  To obtain this information would required a review of every individual RHI record.  We can confirm that there are 8000 RHI records held by Devon County Council and, to allow for 10 minutes per review, this would take in excess of 1,000 hours.  This is in excess of the appropriate limit of 18 hours and this information is therefore exempt from disclosure pursuant to s.12 of the Freedom of Information Act 2000.

We can, however, confirm that in the first two quarters of the 2018-19 financial year, 160 children had more than one missing episode.


+ A summary of the recorded outcomes or actions taken for all completed Return Home Interviews (for example a safeguarding referral, report to the police or to another service). I would like a breakdown of these for Jan 2014-Jan 2019. Ideally this would be laid out by outcome, beside a number of times this was taken. This would sit along side a number of how many RHIs were carried out in total per year. Excel or PDF formats are fine.

+ How many of these return interviews contained content about child exploitation?
+How many times were the police notified of potential child exploitation, following a RHI?

In response to these further questions, please refer to our response to the above questions; Devon County Council do not hold a central record.

+ Can you send me the hiring requirements for staff employed in-house to carry out RHIs? If you outsource this service please respond with who does this for you.

Devon County Council do not outsource this service.

The hiring requirements follow the same processes for Childrens Social Care with a further reference to the statutory guidance for completing RHIs, a copy of which can be found here


Any staff who are hired to complete these will have a half day training session.

+If you do not outsource and complete RHIs yourself – could you please provide the aide memoire/guidelines/checklist that you use when completing Return Home Interviews?

Please see the guide linked to in the previous response.