Children Missing from Care

Federal Legislation

Enacted in September 2014, the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act, P.L. 113-183 (H.R. 4980) requires the States to report each missing or abducted foster child to law enforcement and to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.

The Bringing Missing Children Home Act, a portion of the larger Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act of 2015, P.L. 114-22, was enacted in May 2015. Among other improvements related to record-keeping, this legislation amended federal law to require that law enforcement agencies notify NCMEC of each report they receive relating to a child missing from foster care.

For many years prior to the passage of these important laws, NCMEC has successfully partnered with social service agencies in several states and local jurisdictions by assisting and supporting their efforts to locate and return missing children to safe places. Please see Resources for Social Services for additional information regarding reporting requirements, steps to take when a child in care goes missing and how NCMEC can assist.

To learn more about the resources NCMEC has available to support Social Services and for additional information about this issue, please visit the Children Missing from Care microsite.

Children Missing from Care