One nightmare parent doesn’t want is their child missing. If you find that your child is missing stay calm. There are steps you need follow help find your child. We have touched upon three basic areas of missing children Disasters, Home and Publicly.
The child goes missing from a disaster, immediately call or contact your local law enforcement. You will need to fill out Unaccompanied Minors Registry Form soon as you can. This tool lets NCMEC aid emergency management staff on the ground in their efforts to reunite families during disasters such as hurricanes, tornadoes or terrorist attacks.
If your child is missing, search the house checking closets, piles of laundry, in and under beds, inside large appliances, sheds, garages, and inside vehicles, including trunks—wherever a child may crawl or hide. Check the front and back yards. Remember that children love to hide in bushes and climb trees. Contact your immediate neighbors and friends. If you still cannot find your child, immediately call 911.
If your child disappears in a store, tell the store manager and security office. Many stores have a Code Adam plan of action—if a child is missing in the store. The employees immediately mobilize to look for the missing child. All areas of the store and parking lots need be checked thoroughly. Then immediately call your local law-enforcement agency child isn’t found.
When you call law enforcement, give your child’s name, date of birth, height, weight, and any other unique identifiers such as eyeglasses and braces. Tell them when you noticed that your child was missing and what clothing he or she is wearing. Provide any recent photographs of your child. It is good to carry a current picture of your child with you. Remember that many cell phones today allow you to have and save photos on your phone.
When the police arrive answer all their questions with much detail, as possible. Do not take any question personally asked. You possibly be looked upon by authorities’ as possible suspect or person of interest , especially if you were the last person to see your child. To help rule yourself out coöperate fully.
Marc Klaas share’s his personal experience about his daughter Polly going missing. Marc makes it clear the do’s and do not’s to parents.
Should ask that your child’s name and identifying information be immediately entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Missing Person File. After you have reported your child missing to law enforcement. You need to call The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children: Their tool free number is 1-800-THE-LOST (1-800-843-5678) . Also, you can use the Live Hotline to talk on their national website: ( http://www.missingkids.com/home )
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children will help you during this crisis. They will assign a case worker that will keep you informed. We recommend keeping in constant contact with your assign case worker and any changes take place notified immediately.
Check with police how they are interacting with other law enforcement agencies and media. If they are not planning to contact any of these parties, you should follow-up. Look at situation, openly and honestly on how your child has become missing.
Children that show no signs of running-away have more of a priority, with law enforcement and the media. However, if your child did run-away you need to stress to the parties involved that your child, is a minor and is in a dangerous situation out on the streets. Even children on the streets get abducted, do not allow them to delay an Amber Alert. Note, remind police and media of Chelsea King , who considered a run-away and look what happened to her.
Children who run away often run from a family crisis or a personal problem. Children and teens often lack the coping skills to deal with stress. In some ways, it feels easier to flee the situation than to deal with it directly.
Children that run-away from home are typically fueled by an overload of depression, anxiety and a sense of loneliness with deep alienation from anyone or anything. These kids often feel they have little support in times of trouble and nowhere to run when things get tough, except to street life. Which they turn their back on parental support and authority figures and seek comfort instead from other people on the streets.
Most children who end up in this predicament aren’t forgoing a bad situation for something better. Instead, they quickly learn that their suffering has only begun and that they are easy prey for unscrupulous people and victimization.
Note, you know your child’s behavior and characteristics since birth. You need to communicate to law enforcement reasons of your child’s disappearance. As a parent, you will feel need do more. Searching always needs be coördinated with authorities and in day lite hours.
If your child has Run-Away make sure to contact Missing and Exploited Children and National Run-Away Switchboard.
We suggest contacting other law enforcement in the following order: County Sheriff, State Police, Highway Patrol, law enforcement in surrounding jurisdictions and Border Patrol, if your state borders Mexico or Canada. Make sure that each agency has the correct information and a current picture of your missing child. Sometimes local law enforcement will call on the FBI to help with a missing children’s case. If the FBI involved make sure to have the lead agents contact information.
First 24 to 48 hours is critical for any missing child. Is best to make a basic Facebook Page about your missing child. This needs be done with a family member and the authorities participation.
Your family needs to open themselves up to the media. The local news can help get your missing child’s information out to the public. It’s better having a family member that is strong to speak to the media. Your spokesperson wants to keep their answers short and to the point focusing upon the missing child. We suggest coordinating with local law enforcement when doing this. Law enforcement can have a person that involved with your child’s case on hand answer questions.
We recommend have flyers for the media. The flyers should display a recent picture of your missing child and facts pertinent to the disappearance. Physical traits and personality characteristics should also be described as specifically as possible. It’s important that any flyers, posters displays the number to local law enforcement with case number making it legit.
Your family will need help from people, organizations soon as possible to distribute your child’s picture. Start with your neighbors and friends. We recommend to appoint a person that knows your family well, as helper/coördinator. This person will help in organizing the volunteer’s and help your family. We recommend that person selected choose four Captains that will take charge of a section in canvassing area. It’s best to divide sections up in North , South , East , West in your community. Make sure that your captains are able be in contact with each other and authorities.
Establish a Command Center in your community. This site will allow your leadership to coördinate and delegate to volunteers what needs be done. Have found that is best not to have this in the missing child’s house. The family has enough that is occurring and this will just add to strong emotions.
Is very important have Flyers / Poster / T-Shirts / Buttons made about your missing child. Many local businesses will help with cost of expenses of these items by sponsorship. This will allow recognition of their business on the items.
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, along with various child advocacy organizations can help blanketing your state and the nation. Request organizations display your missing child’s information on their Webpage/Internet sites.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children sends out large amounts of flyers of missing children constantly. Families receive documentation telling where and when a flyer of their missing child displayed. Their website constantly displays a missing child’s information and same information shared with all law enforcement throughout country.
In 1996, Wal-Mart Corporation and National Center for Missing & Exploited Children formed the Missing Children’s Network a private, non-profit organization which works under a Congressional mandate with the U.S. Department of Justice. Children’s information is also featured on Wal-Mart Television Network. Ideal felt by Wal-Mart and NCMEC allow customers see these faces of missing children with the hope that child recognized.
The sole purpose of this was use every Wal-Mart store, Neighborhood Market and Sam’s Club in the United States displays a bulletin board with posters and identifying information of missing children. Wal-Mart has a policy that all flyers that displayed are from National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. The flyers displayed monthly, so other missing children’s flyers be displayed. Children’s information is also featured on Wal-Mart Television Network.
It is very important to keep a positive outlook during this time. We know that many a time that family and friends want to help with support. Your family needs all the positive support can get.
Team HOPE is a program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children’s Family Advocacy Division.
Team Hope help families with missing, exploited and recovered children by offering peer support including empowerment, emotional support and coping skills from a trained volunteer who has had or still has a missing or exploited child. They enhance the already-proven skills of our volunteers and give them the tools they need to aid families with missing, recovered and exploited children.
Recap and Suggestions:
• If your child Kidnapped, Missing or Run-Away contact Police, National Center for Missing and Exploited Children 1-800-THE-LOST, along with Team H.O.P.E. 1-800-306-6311.
• If your child has Run-Away make sure to contact National Run-Away Switchboard 1-800-786 2929 and National Center for Missing and Exploited Children 1-800-THE-LOST.
• Should keep your home phone monitored by family members or close family friend. If the child calls is good have family member or person the child is familiar with answering the phone.
• Work with law enforcement with setting up a Facebook Page and Reward for information help find your missing child.
• The family needs to make an effort in working positively with all law enforcement and media. Any negativity toward authorities or media will take the focus off your child and place it on the negative issues at hand. Causing possibility of ruling yourself out as a suspect. Your family should accessible and proactive with both parties.
• Importantly, take time to seek emotional and psychological support, through professional counselors or spiritual guidance. You will need these supports, to help you be strong and continual in your search for your child.
Again, contact nearby family, friends and church for support. This will help your family out with a common goal of finding your missing child. This support is very important during this time because you cannot do everything and must eat and sleep. Even though it will be hard need sometime. Is good to have family members, close friends, to help during this time, however place one person who has strong delegation skills in place to help organize volunteers.
“Never, never, never, never give up”. – Winston Churchill
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children Sample Flyer:
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