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October 2004Vol. 5, No. 8Missing from Care--Children Who Are Runaways, Abducted, or Lost to the System

The Children Missing from Care Project has released a report on the current state of knowledge regarding missing children, causes, and possible solutions. "Children Missing from Care: An Issue Brief" reviews results from several American and British studies on the characteristics, prevalence, reasons, and responses to children missing from care.

The report notes that researchers distinguish among three groups of children: (1) those who run away, (2) those who are abducted, and (3) those who are lost to the child welfare system. Each of these groups has its own characteristics, and strategies to address the problem must be tailored to each group. The report also cites several programs that show promise for prevention, tracking, and response.

The Children Missing from Care Project is a collaboration between the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, with the goal of providing guidance to law enforcement and child welfare agencies regarding children in foster care who are missing. The complete report can be downloaded from the CWLA site at