Missing Children Publication Hub

The publications in this section contain the results of our research as well as curated research on topics and issues relevant to missing children in Europe and the world. Example of the type of research you can find are understanding the causes of the different types of missing children cases in Europe, policy on missing children, search and rescue operations and family support. The menu and submenu options below will help you find what you're looking for.

If you'd like to share relevant research with us, please send the title, a link and description of the research to info@missingchildreneurope.eu.

Missing Children Publication Hub

Family Support

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‘We look at it through a different lens’ How a shared hope between the left behind and those who investigate can enhance the wellbeing of families of missing people. (by "Sarah Wayland, Dr Kathy McKay, Dr Geoffrey Glassock ")

When a person is missing the relationship for those left behind with those tasked to investigate the disappearance is significant. Families interviewed for the purposes of an Australian based narrative inquiry study exploring hope and ambiguous loss referred to the police as both “hope enablers” and “hope detractors” in their response to loss. There were significant periods of contact between the police and next of kin following sightings or shifts in the investigation, and then settling once the period was over if no resolution was had. The police’s role in a missing person investigation is not to provide emotional support, the participants in the study acknowledged this statement. However, the close connection between the identified needs of families of missing people (namely to have the missing person back) and the goal of police intervention (to locate the individual or ensure their wellbeing) suggests that the intertwining of contact at significantly traumatic periods can lead to unintentional support provision. This paper identifies the shared hope zone created by the participants and law enforcement, detailing alternate methods of support that acknowledge the significance of a loss remaining unsolved.


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