Parents, guardians, and adults who care for children face constant challenges when trying to help keep children safer in today's fast-paced world. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) offers easy-to-use safety resources to help address these challenges.
For decades, children were taught to stay away from "strangers." But this concept is difficult for children to grasp and often the perpetrator is someone the child knows. It is more beneficial to help build children's confidence and teach them to respond to a potentially dangerous situation, rather than teaching them to look out for a particular type of person.
NCMEC is the nation's resource center for protecting children. Our prevention and safety education programs and materials contain information and tips that will help you keep your children safer. The Just In Case... and Know the Rules publication series are especially important for parents and guardians.
As parents prepare for the start of a new school year, teaching children how to be safer needs to be at the top of their list of things to do. An analysis by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children of attempted abductions during the past five years found that children are at most risk when going to and from school or school related activities1. Learn more.
Parents and other adults can help keep children safe by following these ten tips2:
Summer is an exciting time for kids—what are your child’s plans? Will he or she be spending time home alone? Going to local parks and pools with friends? Attending a sleep-away camp?
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children recommends that parents and guardians consider children’s summer activities, both structured and unstructured, and take responsible actions to help keep them safer. The first step is to open the lines of communication.
This post was modified from its original form on 04 Feb, 10:54
The Internet offers an array of entertainment and educational resources for children but also presents some risks.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) is committed to helping all audiences — from kids to parents and guardians to law-enforcement officers and educators — learn the aspects of Internet safety.
You can't watch kids every minute, but you can use strategies to help them benefit from the Internet and avoid its risks.
NCMEC urges you to do one of the single most important things to promote safety — talk to kids about the rewards and risks of Internet use.
This post was modified from its original form on 04 Feb, 10:58
- Always check first with a parent, guardian, or trusted adult before going anywhere, accepting anything, or getting into a car with anyone.
- Do not go out alone. Always take a friend with when going places or playing outside.
- Say no if someone tries to touch you, or treats you in a way that makes you feel sad, scared, or confused. Get out of the situation as quickly as possible.
- Tell a parent, guardian, or trusted adult if you feel sad, scared, or confused.
- There will always be someone to help you, and you have the right to be safe.
Many of our partners work with local businesses, law enforcement, and community organizations to provide child-ids. Look for opportunities in your neighborhood.
The information that parents and guardians need to have about their children, including photographs, key identification information, fingerprints, dental-bite impressions, and DNA samples, may be captured and stored by parents/guardians at little or no cost.
Parents and Guardians: Learn which identification tools you should have for your child.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children works with corporations to co-develop prevention education programs and materials to assist us in our efforts to help keep children safer from abduction and sexual exploitation.
Get Game Smart
This year Microsoft asked the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children to partner with them and over a dozen of the nation’s most prominent children’s media advocacy organizations, to launch the Get Game Smart Campaign. The Campaign takes a first-of-its-kind approach to helping parents and kids establish healthy habits for playing video games, watching TV and browsing the Web. The Campaign will inspire families to take simple steps to help ensure that kids are using media in ways that are safer, healthier and more balanced. For more information visit www.getgamesmart.com, Free
Google's Family Safety Center
Google's Family Safety Center—is a one-stop shop about staying safe online. It includes advice from leading child safety organizations around the world, tips and ideas from parents here at Google, as well as information on how to use the safety tools and controls built into Google products. Free
God Bless you Scarlett for your valuable help.
Internet Safety Quiz for Kids
Clearly the easiest solution to the problem of international child abduction is to prevent it from happening. The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's Missing Children's Services' International Team works to find "best practices" for preventing abductions by providing creative and practical advice.
The information below is from the Bureau of Consular Affairs.1
Children born to a foreign parent may have dual citizenship. In addition to being a citizen of the United States, they may also have the citizenship of the other parent. This may be true even if the foreign parent has become a naturalized citizen of the United States. Foreign governments may therefore provide their citizens with a passport, visa, and exit or entry permits for themselves and/or the child.
To determine if your child has dual nationality, contact the nationâs embassy or consulate. Provide them with a copy of a court order granting you sole/joint custody or restricting the child from being removed from the United States. While the embassy is not legally obligated to honor your request, they may be persuaded by it.
To learn more about dual nationality, visit the web site of the Passport Office at the Department of State at http://travel.state.gov/dualnationality.html.
The information below is from Parental Kidnapping: Prevention and Remedies2 by Patricia M. Hoff.
One of the most important tools for law enforcement to use in the case of a missing child is an up-to-date, good-quality photograph. Noted below are some tips for parents and guardians regarding such a photograph.
- The photograph should be a recent, head-and-shoulders color photograph of the child in which the face is clearly seen. It should be of "school-portrait" quality, and the background should be plain or solid so it does not distract from the subject.
- When possible the photograph should be in a digitized form, and available on a compact disk (CD), as opposed to just a hard copy. This minimizes the time necessary to scan, resize, and make color corrects before disseminating it to law enforcement.
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) reminds families that it's important to plan for your family's safety.
Families may become separated during the chaos of a natural disaster, especially when evacuation is required. NCMEC offers the following recommendations to all families potentially impacted by a natural disaster:
- Know where your kids are at all times.
- Stay together.
- Take photos of your children with you when evacuated.
- Give children identification information to carry with them, including the child’s name, date of birth, address, phone numbers, etc. If a child is too young or otherwise unable to speak for him- or herself, consider writing his/her name, date of birth, parents’ names, home address, and telephone/cell numbers somewhere on the child’s body in indelible marker.
- E-mail digital photos of all family members to extended relatives and/or friends.
- Photocopy important documents and mail to a friend/relative in a safe location.
- Make a plan with your children, so they know what to do if your family becomes separated during an evacuation.
Thank you for appreciating me, and for your valued friendship I am blessed!
Family Reunification Assistance
The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's (NCMEC) Hotline pioneered a model program to assist families in the reunification process by arranging for transportation and lodging for families who cannot afford these costs when picking up their missing child once found.
Private-sector partners, American Airlines®, Amtrak, Continental Airlines®, and Greyhound® provide these services free of charge to the families in need of financial assistance when picking up their child, and the programs are coordinated exclusively through NCMEC.
Team HOPE provides assistance to families of missing or sexually exploited children by offering peer support, resources, and empowerment from trained volunteers. These volunteers are mothers, fathers, siblings, and extended family members who have experienced or are currently living with the pain of a missing or sexually exploited child. They have turned their personal tragedies into vital lifelines of support for other families.
Team HOPE has 8 teams of volunteers.
Four teams are comprised of parents who have personally endured the experiences of having their children abducted by a non-family member, lured by Internet exploiters, or considered runaways. These volunteers are matched to families with similar case types.
One team of Spanish-speaking individuals reaches out to Hispanic families who are searching for their missing child who was abducted by a non-family member, lured by Internet exploiters, or considered an endangered runaway.
A Parental Abduction team reaches both domestically and internationally to assist in matching left-behind family members with volunteers who have experienced abduction in their family.
A Spanish-speaking team supports searching families whose child was domestically or internationally abducted by a family member.
A team of volunteers who assist families whose children have been victims of online enticement, child pornography, and other types of child sexual exploitation.
If you or someone you know could benefit from Team HOPE’s assistance, call 1-866-305-4673.
Recognizing the unique issues surrounding international abductions, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's Missing Children's Services' International Team provides information and support to parents, law enforcement, and attorneys. We can provide information and technical assistance on prevention, civil and criminal aspects of abduction, parent-child reunification, and more.
It sure is hard to sort out what is happening in the economy this year. It’s up and then it’s down—maybe it’s moving sideways on some days—and the political discussion is not helping much. All I know is that too many people are out of work, and that is bad news for families and children. If you think the economic situation for adults is worrisome, consider these three facts:
- More than one in five American children now lives in poverty. (Source: US Census)
- Poverty is the single most significant predictor of child maltreatment. (Source: CLASP)
- According to the National Assessment of Educational Progress, poverty accounts for more than 40% of the variations in reading and math scores among American children. (Source: National Center for Education Statistics )
Sounds pretty ominous. So what can any of us do about it? Not being an economist, I looked elsewhere for answers.
One: connect with vulnerable kids.
The research is clear that the involvement of caring adults has a huge impact on children’s lives, especially those who face multiple challenges. There are many ways to get involved:
During my two decades of work as an investigative reporter, I interviewed hundreds of convicted child molesters in prisons across America. My objective was to uncover how they had lured children and teens into abuse and worse. My intention was also to generate a criminal profile that could be shared with parents and law enforcement. Instead, I found child molesters and abductors to be a diverse group that possesses no tidy criminal profile and does not discriminate by race, gender, class or age.
So who are these sexual offenders?
- Males and Females
- Young Adults, Middle-Aged Adults, and Seniors
- Upper Class, Middle Class, and Disadvantaged
- All Races & Ethnicities
- Vocationally Diverse
One child pornography sting operation by the U.S. Justice Department and Customs Postal Inspectors resulted in well over two hundred arrests. The occupations of those arrested was a virtual rainbow of American life, representing 44% of all occupations listed by the U.S. Department of Labor.
This post was modified from its original form on 11 Feb, 18:48
If you suspect or are told your child has been sexually abused, immediately contact Childhelp USA/IO National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD, or your local police department.
Bless You Dereck and Scarlett for the highly important information everyone should know. I even showed my provider (care taker) that helps me three times a week the missing allerts and she is amazed as she keeps an eye out if she see a missing child listed. We have Amber Alerts here that are broadcasted on TV as well as on interstate signs through out the city. They also have Ambert Alert for your cell phones for free here where help is only a click away to save a child from harm or an missing adults. My city is the central turning point to all directions and thats why we are so happy to have this kind of Amber Alert. I believe all schools should teach teachers and kids to know the difference and what to look out for made manditory in schools as a required subject in all schools across the nation.
1. Children are seldom victims of sexual abuse. Actually, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, in the United States, 1 in 4 girls and 1 in 6 boys is sexually abused by the time they are 18. Consider those numbers for a moment. They are shocking and devastating. Those figures alone should motivate parents to seek out prevention strategies.
2. This kind of thing doesn't happen where we live. Actually, child sexual abuse has no socio-economic boundaries. It doesn't care if you are black or white, rich or poor or what religion you practice. It can creep in when you least expect it.
3. We don't let our children go near strangers. Actually, 93% of all child sexual abuse occurs at the hands of someone known to the child and trusted by the parents. Even if a child is never around strangers, he or she could be victimized by a neighbor, a coach, neighbor boy, a religious official or family member. Parents who teach only stranger danger are doing a disservice to their child.
4. My child is not old enough for this discussion. Actually, the appropriate age to discuss child sexual abuse prevention is when a child is three years old. The conversation can start as simply as "Did you know that the parts of your body covered by a bathing suit are private and are for no one else to see or touch?" Continue the conversation by explaining to the child that he should tell Mommy, Daddy or a teacher if someone touches him on those private parts. Be sure to include any necessary exceptions for potty training, hygiene and doctor visits. Be sure to talk about there is no such thing as secrets and that no one will ever hurt mommy or daddy!
5. I don't want to scare my child. Actually, when handled properly, children find the message empowering and are not frightened at all. Parents do not refrain from teaching traffic safety for fear that their child will be afraid to cross the street. So too should we address the subject of body safety.
6. I would know if something happened to my child. Actually, child sexual abuse is difficult to detect because frequently there are no physical signs of abuse. The emotional and behavioral signs that may accompany sexual abuse can be caused by a variety of triggers.
7. My child would tell me if something happened to him. Actually, most children do not immediately disclose when they have been sexually abused. Contrary to a child who falls down and runs over to tell his parents, a child who has been sexually abused is likely being told not to tell anyone because no one will believe him, that people will say it is his fault, that the disclosure will cause great sadness in the family and that the behavior is their little secret.
8. We never leave our child alone with adults. Actually, children can be sexually abused by other children! Neighbor boys!! The very same lessons that can help prevent children from being sexually abused by adults, can keep them safe from other children. Teach children what touch is appropriate and what is inappropriate, teach them the proper terminology for their private parts and teach them who they can talk to if anyone touches them in a way that makes them feel uncomfortable.
9. I don't want to put thoughts in her head. Actually, there is no data to indicate that a child who has been taught about child sexual abuse prevention is more likely to fabricate that they have been sexually abused. According to Victor Vieth, director of the National Child Protection Training Center at Winona State University, "Children do lie, but seldom about being abused. All human beings can and do lie, but it's hard for kids to do it about sex. They can't lie about something they have no knowledge of," he said, "and children don't learn about oral sex on Sesame Street."
10. It's not going to happen to my child. Actually, as the statistics reveal, child sexual abuse is so pervasive that it could happen to any child. This reason is the catch-all. Educated, loving parents have actually said this to me. If one were to ask any parent whose child has been sexually abused if they thought their child would ever be sexually abused, I can guarantee each one would say no. No one wants to believe this could happen to their child. We need to stop denying that it could happen and recognize that there are ways to prevent it from happening. Make the decision to talk to your child about sexual abuse prevention in 2012. It could be the greatest gift you ever give them.
Please consider a small donation to CWAV USA. Visit http://www.childrenwithoutavoiceusa.org
Besides raising awareness of crimes against children and child abuse (mental, sexual, physical or neglect) in America by distributing free educational materials to shelters, hospitals, schools, law enforcement agencies and other organizations in need, CWAV USA also provide parenting classes as well as children’s classes on how to protect themselves from abuse.
Hi Scarlett....! I changed my profile pic to a Buck and Doe. Just wanted to say thank you for the wonderful important thread thats a must read for everyone. God bless you for all that you do. You are a Blessing to those who know you and all that you do here on care2.
and Jon you must be an angel, cuz, you know all the right things to say, to make me feel better on a bad day! thank you.
Thank you Scarlett, that's how I am and it's my nature to be this way in caring how others feel plus know the stress they have to go through daily to make the world a better place. God always sends Angels at the right time of need as He has done me that way a many of times through my life time. I'm proud to be part of this group/thread.
God Bless you Scarlett for all that you do.
God Bless you Roger for all that you do.
God Bless you Derek for all that you do.
Congress Merge: Online Congressional Directory
This post was modified from its original form on 20 Mar, 18:03