When Your
Child Is Missing
A Family Survival Guide

I remember standing in the middle of the chaos thinking, I wish I had a book to tell me what to do.

—Colleen Nick


Message From Attorney General John Ashcroft

Message From Assistant Attorney General Deborah J. Daniels

Foreword

Acknowledgments

Introduction

Checklist: What You Should Do When Your Child Is First Missing
The AMBER Alert Plan

Chapter 1: The Search

Your Role in the Search: The First 48 Hours
The Role of Law Enforcement in the Search
The Role of Volunteers in the Search
After the First 48 Hours: The Long-Term Search
The Role of Private Detectives and Psychics in the Long-Term Search
Key Points
Checklist: Gathering Evidence in the First 48 Hours

Chapter 2: Law Enforcement

Your Partnership With Law Enforcement
Key Points
Checklist: Working With Law Enforcement

Chapter 3: The Media

Media Involvement: The First 48 Hours
Media Involvement: After the First 48 Hours
Key Points
Checklist: Conducting Interviews With the Media

Chapter 4: Photo and Flier Distribution

Photo and Flier Distribution: The First 48 Hours
Photo and Flier Distribution: After the First 48 Hours
Key Points
Checklist: Distributing Fliers

Chapter 5: Volunteers

Making the Best Use of Volunteers
Using Untrained Volunteers in the Search Effort
Using Trained Volunteers in the Search Effort
Key Points
Checklist: Working With Volunteer Searchers

Chapter 6: Rewards and Donations

Monetary Rewards
Monetary Donations
Key Points
Checklist: Selecting a Tipline for Leads

Chapter 7: Personal and Family Considerations

Regaining Your Emotional and Physical Strength
Mentally Preparing for the Long Term
Helping Your Children To Regain Their Physical and Emotional Strength
Helping Extended Family Members To Regain Their Physical and Emotional
     Strength

Key Points
Checklist: Figuring Out How To Pay Your Bills

Recommended Readings

Additional Resources

About the Parent Authors

Contact Organizations

This document was prepared by Fox Valley Technical College under cooperative agreement number 98MCCXK010 from the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, U.S. Department of Justice. This edition is updated from the second printing.

The Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention is a component of the Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Assistance, the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, and the Office for Victims of Crime.



When Your Child Is Missing: A Family Survival Guide OJJDP Report • May 2004