Hundreds of vulnerable children in care reported missing in Wales

Website WalesOnline has revealed details of an investigation in which they claim at least 221 looked after children were reported missing over the last two years

Specific claims are that one teenage boy reported missing from care in April last year has been missing for exactly 19 months today.

Also, another authority reported babies less than a year old as missing for up to four months, while a two-year-old in the care of the same council was missing for more than two months.

And, that four children in care remained missing when the nation’s 22 authorities provided the data.

The Children’s Commissioner for Wales, Keith Towler, said he was “alarmed” by the figures and planned to call a meeting with the Welsh Government as well as social services chiefs to discuss the matter.

And Des Mannion, the NSPCC’s national head of service for Wales, said that missing children were targeted by sex gangs.

He said: “When children frequently go missing it puts them at increased risk of harm and this can include being groomed by individuals and gangs who specifically target vulnerable youngsters for sexual exploitation.”