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Missing Children’s Hotline – FAQs

Is the service confidential?
The Missing Children’s Hotline is a confidential service but if we have any identifying or identifiable information that might help locate a missing child, we pass that on to the Gardaí. If there are any other child protection concerns and we have identifying information, we similarly pass these concerns on to the relevant statutory bodies.

The Missing Children’s Hotline can be contacted for free by calling 116 000.

The service is available 24 hours a day.

We are here to listen and give emotional support and information to the families of a missing child, a child that’s at risk of going missing or to children themselves who are missing or thinking of running away.

Going missing is not a crime. Every year approximately 6,000 people are reported missing in Ireland – that’s an average of 16 per day. While over 95 per cent are located within a short period of time, the impact on families, friends and the missing persons themselves can be devastating.

It is important to remember that people go missing for a variety of reasons. In some cases, the person may be escaping from real or perceived family or personal conflict, or they may be victims of foul play. In other incidences, individuals may be asserting their independence or taking time out. Some people simply forget to make contact.

When someone you care about is missing it is often hard to know what you should do or where to turn for support. If you have concerns for the safety or welfare of your missing family member or friend, the first step is to file a report with the Gardaí.

It is not necessary to wait 24 hours before reporting a person as missing. 

If your child goes missing, you should contact Gardaí immediately on 999 or 112

There is certain information that Gardaí will ask you to provide, including:

  • The child’s full name and any aliases they use
  • Place and date of birth
  • A complete description of the child including any distinguishing features, such as tattoos, birth marks or scars
  • A recent, clear and preferably colour photograph
  • Details of where and when the child was last seen or heard from
  • What the child was wearing, including any jewellery
  • A contact list of the child’s friends, relatives and colleagues
  • A list of places the child frequents such as clubs, shopping centres, hotels, parks, amusement arcades or restaurants
  • Bank account details
  • Details of any vehicle owned or used by the child
  • Details of any medications the child may require and what it is used to treat

Missing Children's Hotline – Help