What is a Return Home Interview?

A Return Home Interview, also called a Return to Care Interview, is an opportunity for you to have a conversation with someone about how you’re feeling. This will be an independent individual -  they will not be your carer, a member of the police or part of children’s services.

One of our independent, trained professionals will ask you some questions to find out why you went missing or ran away. Remember, we are only able to help you if you tell us what is wrong.

You can trust us and be completely honest. We will not judge you. We are only interested in keeping you safe from harm.

We want to find the right support for you, in order to help you feel happier during your time in care. 

How Can a Return Interview Help?

After running away from home, a Return Interview provides a safe space for you to be honest. You can tell us how you're feeling, why you ran away, and we can then help you to find a solution that will stop you wanting to run away again. To support you, we can:

  • Help you request a change of placement
  • Help you become involved in decisions about your care
  • Help you say what you're feeling, and what you want to happen, to the right people
  • Refer you to other services that might benefit you
  • Provide you with information which, if you choose to run away again, will keep you safe from harm

What Will Happen During My Return Home Interview?

After running away from home, you have the right to be offered a return home interview. The process will likely be:

  • Within 3 days of you returning after running away from home, we will offer to meet you at a time and place that suits you
  • We will listen to you, take you seriously and treat you with respect
  • We will ask why you ran away and what you did when you were missing
  • We will also ask you what you think will help you not to run away and what will help you keep safe in the future
  • We will write a report about our conversation.

In our report, we will outline what led you to go missing, and the risks you faced when you ran away from home. This means that your carers will hear what you have to say, helping them to keep you safe in the future

What If I Don't Want a Return Home Interview?

If you don’t want to have a Return Home Interview, that’s absolutely fine. They are not compulsory. We will always offer you the opportunity to come back to us if you change your mind. You can also contact our NYAS Helpline if you want to ask questions about your Return Home Interview, or you want to access some more support.

A Return Home Interview will be offered to you every time you are reported missing, so we might approach you more than once. We do this because you may have different reasons that trigger you to leave home each time. Plus, if you're continuing to run away from home, we want to help you improve your situation.

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