Local Law Enforcement. If your child is missing, immediately call your local law enforcement agency to make a report. Be prepared to give the law enforcement agency information about your child, including his or her 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 was wearing. Request that your child's name and identifying information be immediately entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) Missing Person File.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) was established in 1984 to help prevent child abduction and sexual exploitation, find missing children, and assist victims and their families. To access their resources, visit their Web site at www.missingkids.com or call NCMEC at 800–THE–LOST (800–843–5678).
State Missing Children Clearinghouses in every State, plus the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Islands, Canada, and the Netherlands, provide resources for missing children, their families, and the professionals who serve them. Most Missing Children Clearinghouses are located within a law enforcement agency. Although the specific services provided by each Clearinghouse vary, their primary areas of focus include networking, information dissemination, training development and delivery, data collection, and provision of technical assistance in cases of missing and sexually exploited children. A list of all State Clearinghouses can be found on the NCMEC Web site at www.missingkids.com. On the left side of the page, click on the tab for resources for parents and guardians.
The Association of Missing and Exploited Children's Organizations (AMECO) is a membership organization of nonprofit local agencies in the United States and Canada that provide services to the families of missing children. They can help with resource referrals as well as advocacy, poster and flier development and dissemination, and aid to local law enforcement. Visit their Web site at www.amecoinc.org or call them at 877–263–2620.
Team H.O.P.E. (Help Offering Parents Empowerment) is a parent mentoring and support program for families of missing children. Made up of parent volunteers, Team H.O.P.E. provides mentoring services, counseling, and emotional support for both parents and other family members. Volunteers can be reached at 866–305–HOPE (4673). Visit their Web site at www.teamhope.org.
The AMBER Alert™ Program is a voluntary partnership between law enforcement agencies, broadcasters, transportation agencies, and the wireless industry. It is used to activate an urgent bulletin in the most serious child abduction cases.
Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Crimes Against Children Program
The mission of the FBI's Crimes Against Children Unit is to provide a quick and effective response to all incidents of crimes against children.
Missing Kids Special Feature
This online resource from the National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS) presents publications and related resources focusing on missing children.
Office for Victims of Crime
The Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) was established by the 1984 Victims of Crime Act (VOCA) to oversee diverse programs that benefit victims of crime. OVC provides substantial funding to State victim assistance and compensation programs—the lifeline services that help victims to heal. Through VOCA funding, State agencies in the United States and U.S. territories have established compensation programs to reimburse crime victims and assistance programs to offer victim services. Information about these services can be found at http://www.ovc.gov/map.html.
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