Lost, injured or otherwise missing

Some children who go missing are neither abducted nor do they decide to leave home, care or a reception centre. This category of cases includes disappearances for no apparent reason of smaller children who got lost, for example in a crowded place like a shopping mall or at the seaside, and do not know how to get back to a place. It may concern children who got hurt and cannot immediately be found such as accidents during sports activities or youth camps. It can also include children with a physical or other disability which limits their ability to return home or to the place where their parent or custodian is. Any given year, our hotlines are confronted with a significant number of “otherwise missing children” whose reason for disappearing has not yet been determined. These are cases that may take a long time to resolve and are often the most traumatic cases for the families left behind. The complex type of grief experienced by these families is referred to as “ambiguous loss” as they can feel stuck between having hope of finding the child and needing to grieve their loss to be able to move forward.


ChildRescue app for finding missing children – Download here 

NotFound: raising awareness of long term missing cases – Download here

Acknowledging the empty space: A framework to enhance support of people left behind – More information here

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