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Community Engagement

When a child is missing, it impacts the entire community.

Communities play an important role in the search for a missing child, as well as in helping to prevent children from going missing.

When a child is missing

When a child is missing, the community can make all the difference — both in helping to locate the child and in supporting the searching family. Here are a few ways you can get involved:

  1. Sign up for MissingKidsALERT

    Public participation is critical to the location of missing children. Sign up for MissingKidsALERT to ensure you stay connected and informed. You will be notified when a child is missing in your area and you’ll have accurate and current information about the situation.

    Encourage others in your community to sign up for MissingKidsALERT too. Contact us to receive MissingKidsALERT promotional materials.

  2. Spread the word

    The more people who know, the more people are searching. Follow us on social media and share our posts about missing children. Encourage your followers to do the same.

    Check out our Spread the Word page for more ideas about getting others involved.

  3. Coordinate a community response

    When a child goes missing, having a coordinated community response is critical.’s Community Response Plan can be used to help communities assist in the search efforts. The information contained in this resource should serve as a guide for the search efforts, helping to provide direction and avoid common errors.

    Note: The Community Response Plan should be initiated in cooperation with the investigating police agency so as not to jeopardize the investigation, and should always be created with the consent of the searching family and conducted according to their wishes.

  4. Restore a sense of safety

    While rare, when child abduction does happen, it affects the entire community. For parents, questions often arise, such as “How can I keep my child safe?” and “How do I know if my child has been affected?” Community leaders may wonder “How have residents been impacted?” and “What can I do to support them?”

    The following resources can help guide families and community leaders through steps to take to support children and members of the community in the wake of a child abduction/attempted abduction. If you have questions that are not answered in these guides, please contact us.

To help prevent children from going missing

Community members can also play a role in helping to keep kids safe within their community. Supervision is very important in keeping kids safe, and includes watching out for all children in your community. Community members should:

  • Pay attention to individuals who are hanging around places where children play and are not accompanying a child.
  • Get involved if you suspect an interaction between an adult and child is not right.

Community members can also share our posts about safety resources via social media.