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Resources for Parents/Families

Keeping Kids Safe

Since you can't always be with your kids, it's important to teach them how to find help and keep themselves safe.

Most importantly, you need to do this in a way that doesn't scare yourself or your children. Instead, you want to build your children's self-confidence. Your kids will feel safer when they can confidently recognize dangerous situations and respond immediately.

Our free Child Safety Kit can help you keep your children safe, even when you are not with them. With special no-scare methods for each age group, our Child Safety Kit includes:

  • Asking for help when no trusted adult is nearby.
  • Unacceptable adult behaviors that can threaten children.
  • Recognizing dangerous situations.
  • Ways to respond to dangerous situations and keep safe.

Additionally, parents are introduced to the "What If" game, an engaging way to teach safety to their kids, which can be fun and build self-esteem.
Our free Child Safety Kit tells parents what they need to know, and how to say it to their children.

Links:

The myth about runaways is that they are not at risk because they’ve chosen to leave home. The truth is that kids aren’t safe by themselves on the streets.  In fact runaway youth are more likely to become victims of abduction and sex trafficking. Kids usually run from an intolerable family situation or to find or get something they don’t have at home.

Some of the warning signs are:

  • Arguments, yelling, hurt feelings and failure to agree
  • Impulsive or irrational behavior—either yours or your child’s
  • Involvement with an antisocial peer group
  • Child abuse in the family
  • Alcohol or other drug use by the family or child
  • Divorce, separation or death in the family
  • Being bullied by their peers at school or online.

What you can do:

  • Support your child’s needs to mature and seek independence.
  • Defend your children openly against harassment or verbal abuse of any kind.
  • Start working to minimize angry conflict and improve communication.
  • Stay calm and don’t respond with anger or name-calling, even if your child is yelling.
  • Avoid interrupting when your teen is talking.
  • If you get overwhelmed when talking with your teen, say, “I’m upset. I need a break to think about this. Take that break, do something calming, and then come back to talk again.

Links:

Family Abduction

You may not realize that each year over 200,000 children are kidnapped by a family member. This is many more children than are kidnapped by strangers. The good news is that family abductions can often be prevented. Many custodial parents are not aware that parental kidnapping can happen. The following information can help you keep your children safe.

Links:

International Family Abduction

Sometimes a family abductor will take the child out of the United States. For the most accurate and up-do-date information on international child abductions and the policies of specific countries, the Polly Klaas® Foundation recommends the following link for the US State Department, Office of Children's Issue’s resources.
Links:

Internet Safety

Most people kids meet online are fine. Some are predators. The greatest risk is that a predator will develop a relationship with a child (called "grooming") and the child will go to meet this person they believe is their "friend." The Polly Klaas® Foundation's FREE Internet Safety Kit will help parents keep children safer online and will help you open communications about the Internet with your children.

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Sex Offender Information

If you discover there is a registered sex offender in your neighborhood, what should you tell your child? 

  • Think about what you will say before talking with your child.
    • You don’t want to terrify your children.
    • You want to give your kids factual information and skills to keep themselves safe.
  • You may want to show your child a photo of the offender.
    • You don’t need to go into detail about the crime the sexual predator committed—that’s really scary stuff
  • You CAN give your kids this information and recommend specific action:
    • This photo is of a person they might see around, and this person has tried to trick kids before.
    • If this person tries to talk to them,
      • Your child should immediately take 3 steps back,
      • Run away,
      • Tell you or another trusted adult.

Links:

Resources for Law Enforcement

It is you, the Law Enforcement professional, who ultimately brings a missing child home.  The Polly Klaas® Foundation offers the following services to make your job easier:

  • Family assistance
  • Intake and transmission of leads
  • 24-hour hotline
  • National Flyer distribution
  • International website exposure
  • Local and national media exposure
  • Family referrals to nationwide resources
  • Referrals after the child comes home

Links:

  • Partners for Children Brochure -
  • When the kidnapper is a family member brochure – How law enforcement can protect children from the crime of family abduction.
  • NCMEC Resources for Law Enforcement  http://www.missingkids.com/LawEnforcement

Resources for Media

National Missing Child Statistics

Every ten years or so the Department of Justice undertakes a study of missing children, the National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway and Throwaway Children. NISMART II, the most recent, was released in October 2003.

Polly Klaas Foundation Statistics

Polly Klaas® Foundation Case Management Statistics -- 2012


Case Type

Total # of Cases

Located Safe

Located Deceased

Total Located

Closed for Other Reasons

Still Actively Looking

Percent Recovered

Endangered Runaway

306

264

2

266

18

22

87%

Family Abduction

32

20

0

20

5

7

63%

Non-Family (includes Stranger Abductions)

3

1

0

1

0

2

33%

Lost

0

0

0

0

0

0

N/A

Suspicious Circumstances

7

1

0

1

0

6

  14%

Unknown Circumstances

0

0

0

0

0

0

N/A

Totals

348

286

2

288

23

37

83%

 

MISSING CHILD CASES - 1994 thru 2011

8216

MISSING CHILD CASES - 2012

348

TOTAL # OF CASES HANDLED (1993-2012)

8564

PFK Case Numbers