Child Find of America's E-Newsletter Autumn/Winter 2012:
Child Find of America's E-Newsletter
This week marks the beginning of the holiday season. It is a time we invite family and friends into our homes to share in and give thanks for what bounty we have, what difficulties we have overcome and what strife we have been spared. In light of recent and ongoing disasters and conflicts at home and overseas, many of us will be more thankful than ever to be spending time with our loved ones - particularly our children.
Here at Child Find every member of our staff was personally affected by Hurricane Sandy. While spared the extensive property damage suffered by residents just a bit further south, none of us avoided the emotional impact that accompanies not knowing the whereabouts or well-being of loved ones. Fortunately for us, the lines of communication severed by the storm were restored within a matter of 12 to 48 hours - though it seemed much longer. We were relieved to learn that our children, friends and relatives escaped any serious physical harm.
But this holiday season there are those who will not be as lucky we are. They will not be enjoying the comfort of spending it with their families intact. Some of them will be separated because of members serving in the armed forces.Others will be separated because of family discord and custody disputes. Far too many will be separated because their children are missing; many not having heard from them - not just for hours - but for weeks, months and years.
For over 32 years - with your support - Child Find of America has resolved thousands of missing children cases and prevented countless others. Wehave opened the lines of communication between law enforcement, the media and distraught families to help bring missing kids home; and between adversarial parents to prevent instances of family abduction. With your continued support, we will still be here tomorrow for these children and their families.
Like you, Child Find staff have already dug a bit deeper in their pockets to send aid to the victims of this year's disasters. And like you, they are continuing with the same level of support to their usual charities of choice, knowing that their gifts comprise the base upon which those agencies stand.Finally, like you, we here at Child Find will gather our loved ones just a little closer this holiday season.
In last year's Annual Report we told you about this Dad
and his on-going search and struggle
to bring his daughter safely home.
It had been 5 years - and there was hope.
In this year's Annual Report ... Dad's persistence pays off. She's home!
Child Find of America's 2012 Annual Report will be available online atwww.childfindofamerica.org in December. As a supporter of Child Find and recipient of this e-newsletter, you will be receiving notification and a link to the report in your e-mail.
In the meantime, we are proud to report that Child Find has again received an A+ Charity Rating from Charity Watch (formerly the American Institute of Philanthropy.) Our Form 990 and Fiscal Audit are currently available on the "More Reports" page of our website:www.childfindofamerica.org.
Getting There: Location, Prevention & Parent Help
Family abductions are often committed by parents dissatisfied over court custody and child support decisions. Child Find caseworkers help to preventabductions by offering education, information, counseling, advocacy, support and referral for families impacted by a child custody crisis. Parents are counseled about the consequences of, and alternatives to, abducting their own children.
"We've learned that providing callers with all the information they need to make educated and thoughtful decisions about their children is the best one can hope for." -Shari, Parent Help Program Director.
Over the past year Child Find logged more than 18,000 calls in service to families in crisis. 56 cases were registered with Child Find's location services. Additional location services were rendered through the Parent Help program which registered 1,289 new cases. Of Parent Help's 3,524 open cases, 613 of them involved missing children.
A Mom's Story
Janine: "We used to sing Adele songs together."
Janine called Child Find to say that her 17-year-old daughter, Tracy, had not been returned after a visit with her dad, Ivan, although she was due home the previous week. Consequent to a history during which Ivan had consistently denied Janine court-ordered liberal parenting time, the order was reversed and Janine was granted residential custody. At that point Ivan was given parenting time during the summers, however now that school was about to start he was again refusing to send Tracy back to mom. As a result, Janine was able to get a court order granting her emergency-based full custody, along with a pick-up order for the local authorities to step in. Janine stated that since Ivan's current wife "had connections to the police," she was unable to get the local sheriff's office to assist her with Tracy's return. Janine stated that the sheriff had backed up Ivan's and his wife's claim that Tracy was not at Ivan's residence. During an internet investigation by Child Find, online videos were discovered that Child Find suspected had been posted by Tracy. The videos were shared with Janine who confirmed the girl in the video was indeed Tracy - singing Adele songs that mother and daughter used to sing together. Further, Janine was able to confirm her daughter's location from one of the videos which showed a woman entering the room in the background while Tracy was recording. Janine recognized the woman as Ivan's current wife. With the help of this evidence and agencies referred to her by Child Find, Janine was able to have Tracy safely returned home .
Jules: "Three years of nothing, and thanks to Child Find I am seeing my children."
Jules contacted Child Find after he received an email from the Department of State in 2011 notifying him that his ex-wife and children had returned from Germany, but their location was unknown. Jules explained that in 2008 he and his ex-wife, Anna, had arranged an enforceable mediated custody agreement in preparation for her three-year military relocation to Germany. The agreement stated that Anna would retain physical custody, bringing their 5 and 8 year old daughters with her, and Jules would see the girls on several occasions. Once in Germany, however, Anna notified Jules that she was not going to comply with the order. Jules had not seen his daughters since. He was frustrated that, though back in the States, his girls were still missing - and no one seemed able to help.
Jules' Child Find caseworker launched an investigation into Anna's whereabouts and quickly determined her current location. The case worker then discussed Jules' options with him, including having Anna served with a petition to enforce his parenting-time rights. Through the caseworker's search efforts, the the children were finally located living with their maternal grandparents across the country. Shortly thereafter, Jules called Child Find happily relaying that he finally saw his daughters. He said that although the first visit "was shaky," the comfort levels slowly increased as they spent more time together. Jules' caseworker gave him a referral to Team Hope (1-866-305-HOPE, www.teamhope.org) for support designed to enhance the reunification process, which is headed in a very positive direction.
Sweet Sixteen Spirit !
Child Find was thrilled to get word of this selfless
North Carolina teen's plans for her Sweet 16 Party.
The letter, photo and check that followed
were the icing on the cake!
Dear Child Find America:
Please accept this gift of $145.00 that was raised at my Sweet 16th Birthday party. My friends all brought the money they would have spent on gifts to the party and made this donation possible.
I chose your charity because what you do is important. My friends and I are lucky enough to never need your services but we want to help for those families who do. Thank you for continuing to provide help when a child goes missing.
As you open your doors this holiday season to welcome family and friends, please open your heart as well, to help bring our missing children home.
Thank you for caring.
Click on the door to donate on-line. -or- ClickHERE for a mail-in donation form.
Over 1.5 million children have a runaway or throwaway episode each year. Runaway cases occur when a child of 14 years or less leaves home without permission for at least one night. For older children, a runaway is defined as a child who stays out for at least two nights. Throwaway episodes occur when a parent or other household adult tells a child to leave the house without arranging alternative care and prevents the child from returning home.