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Searching for Your Child

If you have reason to suspect that your child is missing, it is important to take immediate action. The following sections have been prepared to help you decide what steps to take. Every situation is different and the approach to take will vary depending on what you know about your child including what, if any, prior communication you may have had with them, and if you have any information that leads you to suspect foul play may be involved. You may realize that something is wrong right away, or it may take you a while to realize that something is off. Regardless of the time it takes, it is important to take action as soon as you realize your child may be missing.

You know your child — how they think, their patterns, and their typical behaviour. Parental instincts are important and sometimes may be all you have to go on. You need to consider all the possibilities and take action accordingly. For some kids, it may be usual for them to miss a curfew or cut class, for others it may not. If you feel strongly that something is terribly wrong, you need to report it to the police immediately and emphasize to them the seriousness of the situation. Depending on the age of your child, you may need to be persistent with law enforcement and the media — they need to know what makes your child’s case so urgent. In the absence of any other information, including where your child may have been going and who they may have been with, the police may be solely relying on your knowledge of your child.

If you think your child might have run away, consider the different methods outlined in the Runaway section of this website.

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