Special Feature: Missing Children

graphic with child's shoe, sidewalk, and house along with text: Bringing Our Missing Children Home Safely Nothing is more important to parents than the safety and welfare of their children. Families traumatized by abduction are faced with the simultaneous challenge of quickly marshaling all available resources to recover their missing child while dealing with the devastation of their loss.

Missing children cases are extremely challenging and frustrating to the practitioners handling them. The devastating impact occurs simultaneously on so many fronts—child, family, community, law enforcement, public and private agencies—each once looking for immediate answers. Timing is crucial; a rapid response increases the chance of successful case resolution.

The unforeseen absence of a child is always upsetting, but most missing children are returned home in a short period of time. This fact, however, provides little consolation for the parents of children whose whereabouts and welfare remain unknown.

President Ronald Reagan first proclaimed May 25 to be National Missing Children’s Day in 1983. It has been recognized as such every year since.

National Missing Children’s Day is dedicated to help remind parents, guardians, other trusted caregivers, and adult role models to make child safety and well-being a priority. It can be used to show appreciation for those who dedicate themselves to finding and safely bringing home those who may be missing. It serves as an annual reminder to the nation to continue efforts aimed at reuniting missing children with their families.

To learn more about missing children, please select a topic from the section at the right under the “Missing Children” heading to view publications and related resources.