According to statistics, one child goes missing every 40 seconds in the U.S. That being said, your child has a 1 in 42 chance of being one of those missing children. Being prepared and preventing an abduction is always the first line of defense and the best plan to keep your children safe. However, in the event that your child becomes one of the terrifying statistics, having a recovery plan in place and powerful resources behind you can help bring your child back home quickly and safely.
If you and your family experience and abduction, the first step is always to contact your local law enforcement office and the FBI. After being reported, your child may be the subject of an AMBER alert. However, in order to utilize the AMBER alert system, the abduction of your child must meet the following criteria:
- Law enforcement must confirm that an abduction has taken place.
- The child must be at risk of serious injury or death.
- There must be sufficient descriptive information of child, captor, or captor’s vehicle to issue an alert.
- The child must be under 18 years of age.
Unfortunately, not all abductions meet the guidelines for an AMBER alert. However, parents should not give up hope if they are unable to obtain authorization for an AMBER alert. For abductions that do not meet AMBER Alert criteria, the U.S. Department of Justice developed the Child Abduction Response Teams (CART) program to offer alternatives for parents and local child recovery agencies.
C.A.R.T. stands for Child Abduction Response Teams. These teams exist across the United States and are comprised of law enforcement officials, emergency response members, non-profit organizations, and local community search groups that come together to help find missing children. These teams are often able to quickly mobilize after a child has been reported missing and put together a recovery action plan.
If your child has been reported missing or you suspect they have been abducted, contact your local law enforcement agency immediately! Officials realize that every minute is critical for recovering your child alive and safe, so there is no 24 hour waiting period. And if you suspect that your missing child does not meet criteria for an AMBER alert, ask your local law enforcement officials about the options for CART in your area.
Any and all advice contained herein is intended only to assist parents and families of missing and abducted children. For more tips and advice, contact your local law enforcement or FBI office.
About The National Academy for Child Abduction Prevention Associates, LLC:
Founded in 2013 by Roy M. Doppelt, Esq., the National Academy for Child Abduction and Prevention Associates, LLC is an Academy of family law attorneys advocating prevention of child abduction through public education and professional collaboration. We believe that educating the public about kidnapping and its prevention is a paramount duty of attorneys who represent family law clients.