May 25, 2021: As we come together today as a Nation to commemorate the 38th National Missing Children’s Day, we do so virtually, which we have become accustomed to over the last year. While the world has adapted to social distancing, working from home and communicating virtually, our front-line workers have continued to work diligently in responding to missing children cases and working tirelessly to bring them home.
We remember today all missing children; those who have been recovered and reunited with their families, and those who have not come home. We honor them and their families as their fight continues, and we support and advocate for them daily as we stand side by side with them to protect, recover and reunite all children. We also honor all those who have done so much to protect children, recover the lost and prosecute the predators across the nation.
It is an honor to be working with you as the AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program Administrator on this day. Each child recovered as a result of an AMBER Alert, good police work, and involvement and help from the public is a success. We work continuously to improve our program in providing training, technical assistance and resources through the U.S. Department of Justice to help law enforcement and other child protection workers to prevent abductions and quickly recover missing children. Through these efforts, we endeavor to work closely with our state, local and tribal partners to develop strategies to quickly locate missing and abducted children.
Our AMBER Alert Training and Technical Assistance Program (AATTAP) staff and regional liaisons are working with every state AMBER Alert and missing children program throughout 2021 to hold virtual meetings to discuss program strengths and successes, areas for growth and improvement, training needs and more; all with a focus on how AATTAP can support operational readiness for effective response to cases of endangered, missing and abducted children. These facilitated meetings will include key representatives from each state and will focus on the best practices across first response, case investigation, support and advocacy for the family and survivors, and ongoing case management. Across this ’50 States’ initiative and beyond, AATTAP will focus on supporting ongoing and productive communication and collaboration to support those working in the field everyday to protect our children.
In closing, I invite you to join us in recognizing the 2021 National Missing Children’s Day awardees. Today and every day, let us remember that the work done on behalf of endangered missing and abducted children never ceases.