FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
TODAY (OCTOBER 30, 2013)—Congresswoman Maloney (D-NY) and Congressman Poe (R-TX), with original cosponsors Congresswoman Moore (D-WI) and Congresswoman Bass (D-CA), introduced HR 3427, legislation to protect missing and runaway children.
The Runaway Reporting Improvement Act of 2013 seeks to assist parents and other adults caring for runaway and missing children and youth. Under this law, law enforcement agencies receiving reports of runaway or missing children would connect the individuals making the reports to the resources and services of the National Runaway Safeline (NRS) and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). This important connection would take place at the very moment when families need these agencies’ services the most- when they are in the throes of crisis due to their child’s unaccounted absence from home.
In response to evidence of lapses in reporting of missing children to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) as required by federal law, this Act would require law enforcement to certify their compliance with the law. Without an NCIC entry, law enforcement officers are far less able to discover or protect a missing child because law enforcement would not know to look for him or her.
Despite widespread collaboration among Network members, thousands of young people are ignored entirely or simply slip through the gaps between public systems of care designed to keep them safe. As a result, these young people end up directly in the path of predators. Interventions are most successful when grounded in partnerships among families, community-based organizations, schools, federal agencies, and law enforcement.
The National Network for Youth applauds your bipartisan leadership and enthusiastically endorse the Runaway Reporting Improvement Act of 2013. The Network looks forward to continue working with U.S. Congress to increase prevention, crisis intervention, and housing services to protect America’s runaway and homeless youth.
Our letter of support for this legislation is attached.
Congresswoman Maloney’s press release.
CONTACT: Darla Bardine (National Network for Youth) 202-783-7949