The AMBER Alert System is an early warning system to help find abducted children. AMBER stands for America's Missing Broadcast Emergency Response. There are AMBER Alert plans in all 50 states, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. AMBER Alert programs have helped save the lives of over 700 children nationwide.
How an AMBER Alert Works
Once law enforcement determines that an abduction is taking place and that it meets AMBER Alert criteria:
They notify broadcasters and state transportation officials.
Interrupt regular programming on radio and television.
AMBER Alerts can also appear on highway signs, lottery tickets, wireless devices such as mobile phones, and over the Internet.
Lacking clean or appropriate clothes, food, or other basic necessities
Signs that a parent may be abusing or neglecting their child include:
Indifference or apathy
Berating, shaming, blaming, or rejection
Relying on the child for the parent's own emotional needs
Conflicting or unconvincing explanations for a child's physical injuries
Report Suspected Child Abuse
If an abusive event is in progress or you know or suspect someone abused, neglected, or exploited a child, call 911.
You may also:
Contact your local child protective agency, If you suspect a child is being abused or neglected, or if you are a child who is being maltreated, contact your local child protective services office or law enforcement agency so professionals can assess the situation.
Call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-CHILD (1-800-422-4453) if you suspect abuse, are a child abuse victim, or are a parent who needs help. The hotline is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and operates in the United States, its territories, and Canada.
There are also a number of other resources available with information on how to handle a suspected child abuse and/or neglect situation:
The Child Welfare Information Gateway has information on how to protect a child’s safety, support families, and prevent child maltreatment. There are resources available for managers and administrators and information on how to report suspected child abuse and neglect.
If you think a child or teen you know is thinking of running away from home, contact the National Runaway Safeline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (1-800-786-2929).
AMBER Alerts by State - As soon as law enforcement determines that a child abduction meets AMBER Alert criteria, they issue an AMBER Alert and notify broadcasters and state transportation officials. AMBER Alerts are broadcast on TV, radio, highway signs, and other devices.
Code Adam - A child safety program used in establishments across the nation. In participating establishments, they follow a specific process and designated employees stop what they are doing if a Code Adam announcement comes out to help search for a child. The Code Adam Program in Federal Buildings takes care of government establishments.
FBI Parental Kidnappings - The FBI also helps investigate kidnappings involving non-custodial parents who fail to follow court ordered custody agreements to return children to their primary custodial parent.
The NCMEC also recommends that families have a Child ID kit prepared for each child in the event he or she goes missing. A free app from the FBI —FBI Child ID (Android , iOS)—allows you to store photos and information about your child. If your child goes missing, you can quickly share that data with authorities.
Federal law defines child pornography as any kind of visual depiction of sexually explicit conduct involving a minor (any person younger than 18). This includes drawings, cartoons, sculptures, paintings, photographs, films, videos, or computer-generated images or pictures.
If you need to register as a sex offender, contact a local law enforcement agency. State laws and regulations concerning sex offender registration vary. Some states require you to register with local law enforcement even if you are only temporarily visiting the state.