32- Child Abduction
Screening, Monitoring, and Termination of Visitation – Child Abduction
Hi. Welcome to part thirty-two of the Supervised Visitation Monitor Training, brought to you by Family & Children’s Counseling Services, Inc.
In this segment, we will discuss Child Abduction.
This topic is obviously a big deal, and like other big deals, it falls into multiple categories. This is not only a monitoring issue; it’s a legal responsibility, a mandated reporter issue, and an emergency.
Child abduction during a visit is not necessarily common, but it is serious. And we need to be prepared.
Let’s take a look at the FCCS Policies and Procedures Regarding Abduction. You can find it in your Training Manual.
3165.5 Supervised Visitation, Abduction
When reporting an abduction, the staff member should:
· Staff should not try to stop the abduction by physical confrontation or try to follow the abductor because such actions may endanger the life and well-being of the child and others involved.
· Dial 911 immediately and state the nature of the emergency
· Identify yourself and your location
· Inform the dispatcher of any known injuries or weapons.
· Inform the dispatcher of any known medical conditions of the Child, Children and/or Parent.
· Give the location address, along with the closest cross streets.
· Provide a call back number in the event the call is disconnected. The caller should remain on the line until instructed to hang up by the emergency operator.
· Explain the relationship between the Visiting Parent and the Child, and the Monitor and the Child.
· Request (1) that missing person’s reports regarding both the parent and the child be taken and entered into the Missing Persons system, and (2) a child abduction report is to be taken.
· Pull the client file and emergency plan to review information, if necessary.
· After the initial call to law enforcement, contact the Custodial Parent and let them know everything you know.
· Contact your FCCS Supervisor.
· You will need to contact your other clients for the day to cancel any scheduled appointments.
· Proceed to the law enforcement location and present all the information to the law enforcement office in person, with a copy of the court order for supervised visitation, as well as photographs, clothing descriptions, and vehicle information about the child and parent. Follow additional agency policy and procedures regarding law enforcement protocol. Remember to get the officer’s badge number when making the report.
· If the dispatcher or police officer does not take appropriate action, it is important that Staff explain to the officer that a valid Court order exists between the parents and the incident appears to be a potential abduction or is in violation of Penal Code section 278.5. If the officer still does not act, then take down the officer’s badge number and report the event to the appropriate individual (e.g., sergeant) as soon as appropriate.
· Complete a FCCS Incident Report documenting the event and give copies to all parties (parent(s), attorneys, CPS, law enforcement and the Court).
· Determine whether need to notify the District Attorney’s Office of Child Abduction Unit in the area where the child was abducted.
· Obtain copy of the police report and put in case file for record-keeping purposes.
· Determine the need to contact other agencies for assistance (e.g., the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children; 1-800-843-5678).
· You may put the custodial parent in contact with Team Hope, www.missingkids.com/teamhope; 866-305-HOPE (4673) and/or you’re your local Victim’s Compensation Fund (Victim-Witness).
· Debrief with you Supervisor, if you have one. You may need counseling or therapy. If you have a Supervisor, please ask him or her about the next steps in filing a worker’s comp claim and/or a Victim Witness claim.
· Continue to collaborate with law enforcement, as needed.
While child abduction is not a pleasant topic, being informed and prepared in the event of an emergency is a necessity.
Before moving on to the next segment, do the following:
1) Review the Policies and Procedures regarding abduction.
2) If you are in practice for yourself, customize or create your own Policies and Procedures.
3) Reflect upon the necessity to remain calm during any emergency.
4) Visualize yourself handing this type of emergency with confidence.
Thank you for watching. I’ll see you again at the next video, Screening, Monitoring, and Termination of Visitation- Disclosures and Other Dangerous Situations.
Family & Children’s Counseling Services, Inc. is a California LMFT Corporation owned and directed by Melinda Haynes, MA, LMFT 102308.
You can find FCCS online at www.HealPlayLove.org.
You can find Melinda’s therapy channel, Can We Talk?, at https://www.youtube.com/canwetalk