““The 168 juveniles recovered last month during an FBI child sex trafficking bust included some kids who had never been reported missing, a population that law enforcement encounters often and that child welfare advocates say they’re especially concerned about.”…
“But advocates say the recent roundup and others like it reinforces the need for a standardized approach to report children as missing — especially those absent from state foster care systems who are most vulnerable to abuse. State and federal efforts are underway to streamline how police are alerted when kids go missing.
“This has been a movement that I would say over the last year has really galvanized,” said John Ryan, president of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Legislation pending in Congress would require child welfare agencies to alert police and the center, which has specialized response teams and other resources, within 24 hours of receiving information about a child’s disappearance.
The current patchwork of state and federal policies has yielded what advocates describe as a fractured safety net with little accountability.
Though states may have policies directing child welfare agencies to report missing children to law enforcement, most don’t have laws requiring that notification, according to the missing children center. That means children can disappear without police knowing they’re missing or being directed to look for them.
Federal law does require law enforcement agencies to enter missing children into the National Crime Information Center — a database available to law enforcement nationwide — but that presumes police are provided the names or have specific enough details about a child. A 2011 Government Accountability Office report said law enforcement agencies are having trouble getting timely information from state agencies.
The missing children center says it received more than 57,000
missing-child reports between 2009 and 2013, many of them considered endangered runaways. The center says 1 out of 7 endangered runaways reported to the center last year were likely child sex trafficking victims. And of the children reported missing to the organization last year who were also likely sex trafficking victims, about two-thirds were in the care of child welfare systems when they ran away.”…
See on Scoop.it – Child Welfare Advocacy