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Missing Child, Emergency Response, Quick Reference Guide for Families

NCJ Number
Date Published
July 2019
1 page
This "Quick-Reference Guide" from the U.S. Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention (OJJDP) provides step-by-step instructions to parents on what to do if they believe their child is missing.
Approximately 30 steps are described, with the first being to contact the local law enforcement agency as soon as the parents have determined their child is missing or has been abducted. The instruction is not to delay in making this report. The second step for parents is to search any area into which a child could crawl or hide and possibly be asleep or unable to escape. This search should include areas of the house and yard. Parents are also instructed to check areas outside the house and yard where the child was last seen or may have played, particularly those areas that may have various hazards. Other instructions to parents pertain to how they can assist law enforcement officers by providing various types of information on their child's companions, persons who had recent contact with the child, and the child's recent behaviors. Parents are instructed to report the missing child to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, with phone number provided. Parents should also inquire of police whether an Amber Alert has been issued.

Date Published: July 1, 2019