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When Your Child Is Missing: A Family Survival Guide, Fourth Edition

NCJ Number
Date Published
May 2010
110 pages

This document serves to guide parents and family members whose children go missing.


This guide was written by parents and family members who have experienced the disappearance of a child. It contains their combined advice concerning what you can expect should your child go missing, what you can do, and where you can go for help. It explains the role that various agencies and organizations play in the search for your missing child and discusses some of the important issues that you and your family need to consider. The first checklist, "What You Should Do When Your Child Is First Missing," summarizes the most critical steps that parents should take when their child is first missing, including whom to call, what to do to preserve evidence, and where to turn for help. The rest of the guide is divided into seven chapters. Each chapter explains both the short-and long-term issues and contains a checklist and chapter summary for later reference. Chapter 1 focuses on the search for your child and explains how the parents can best participate; chapter 2 describes the relationship between law enforcement and the family members; chapter 3 examines issues related to the media, including media packages, press conferences, and interviews; chapter 4 offers suggestions for producing fliers about your child and for managing the photo and flier distribution process; chapter 5 focuses on the many uses of volunteers; chapters 6 discusses the use of rewards and the management of monetary donations; and chapter 7 emphasizes the need to take care of yourself, the family, and members of the extended family. Additional resources are also provided.

Date Published: May 1, 2010