Dec/Jan 2006Vol. 6, No. 10States Respond to Children Missing From Care
States are addressing the issue of runaway children and other children missing from child welfare custody in a variety of creative ways, according to a recent article in Children's Voice, from the Child Welfare League of America (CWLA). The article discusses the increasing focus on missing children over the last few years and notes how States have responded. Some of these responses include:
- A census of foster care children in Kentucky in 2002-2003, in which every child was visited and data were collected
- Creation of a missing-child unit in Illinois that makes use of a computerized database on children in child welfare custody
- A website that lists names and photos of children missing from Michigan's child welfare agencies
- Collaboration with local law enforcement to create seven child location strike forces to locate missing children in Florida
Preventing youth from running away may save them from further victimization, according to this article. Youth will be less likely to run away if foster care services are improved, youth opinions are considered in decisions that affect them, and importance is placed on relationships between caseworkers and youth.
The complete article, "Children Missing From Care," is available in the September/October 2005 issue of Children's Voice and on the CWLA website at http://www.cwla.org/how-should-agencies-respond/.
Children's Bureau Express covered the issue of missing children in the following articles:
- "Understanding and Preventing Foster Care Runaways" (May 2005)
- "Missing From Care—Children Who Are Runaways, Abducted, or Lost to the System" (October 2004)