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National Missing Children's Day

Poster Contest

2022 39th Annual National Missing Children's Day with Ribbon

With the theme of "Bringing Our Missing Children Home," OJJDP invites fifth graders each year to participate in the National Missing Children's Day poster contest. The winning poster is the inspiration for the National Missing Children's Day poster and artwork for the following year.

Entries for the 39th annual National Missing Children's Day poster contest are no longer being accepted.

The contest creates an opportunity for schools, law enforcement, and child advocates to discuss the issue of missing and exploited children with youth and their families and to promote child safety.

Each state hosts its own poster competition and submits the winning entry to OJJDP for the national contest. The winning poster artwork inspires the National Missing Children's Day logo design for the following year's event. See the gallery of the 2021 winning state posters

Contest Submission Information

OJJDP's Missing and Exploited Children's Training and Technical Assistance Program and the National Criminal Justice Training Center at Fox Valley Technical College collaborate with OJJDP to coordinate the poster contest each year. Go to the poster contest packet

Contest rules, contact information for state contest managers, discussion materials, and additional information are available each fall. Prospective participants should check with their state contest managers for the state submission deadlines. 

2021 Winning Poster

2021 National Missing Children's Day Poster Contest Winning Poster

The 2021 National Missing Children's Day poster contest winner is Heidy P.V. in Dodge City, Kansas.

“The artwork Heidy created is a heartfelt depiction of the love, and sadness, families feel when their child goes missing. We congratulate Heidy and all the contest participants for continuing the conversation of child safety in communities across the country.”

— OJJDP Acting Administrator Chyrl Jones

Heidy's poster represents the theme "Bringing Our Missing Children Home," through her colorful representation of two hands forming a heart. In the middle of the heart sits a small child, huddled head down with her hands around her knees. Heidy explained that the heart symbolizes love and hope for families and parents as they search for their missing children. Read the news release for more details the winning poster.