The growing concern about runaways from residential and foster care raises questions about the nature of the care system today. Why do so many young people go missing from placements? What happens to them when they do? What risks do they face and what are the long term implications for their lives? How might professionals prevent or discourage young people from going missing? How far is their behaviour determined by the care contexts in which they find themselves and how far is it shaped by their individual experiences and motivations? Presenting findings from a study of young people who go missing from residential care and foster homes, this book seeks to answer these questions. It examines the motivations behind an individual's disappearance and highlights the serious risks young people may encounter when they run away. It outlines the strengths and limits of different professional responses to such situations and presents an analysis of the difficult professional task of managing risk.