Did you know that the year with the greatest number of missing children in Canada was 2013? There were 41,035 reports filed that year to the RCMP and 73% of these missing children were made up of runaway children. Having a child runaway is an emotionally crippling situation. If you are experiencing this, here is a step-by-step guide on what to do to keep the situation under control.
The first thing to do is to put together as much information as possible to direct an efficient search by the authorities or a private investigator (PI). The first 48 hours are crucial in the search and largely determines its success.
Search their bedroom
Contact friends, school or where they work
Think about their routine
Think of places they go to when they’re upset
Try and place yourself in their frame of mind
Look for signs of suicide
Signs of drug or alcohol abuse
Consider why they would run away (abuse, divorce, death in the family, financial worries, problems at school etc.)
Children often end up in youth shelters, at a friend or significant other’s place, or out on the streets. Check these places in the area and contact local hospitals to make sure they are okay.
Understand why they ran away
If a child runs away after something has happened, it means it isn’t a consistent pattern but your child’s natural strategy to solve the problem in that moment. It’s more likely your child will come home as long as they feel accepted and ready to face the situation.
Chronic running away is used as a power tactic over the family to perpetuate high risk acting out and manipulation. This is when a child is acting from very deep wounds as a true cry for help. If your child could be possibly doing this, it is important to understand that they are not running away to solve a problem but to make a bigger one they can use to their advantage.
Hire a private investigator
Working with the police and a private investigator has far more advantages than working with just the police. The police have access to a number of resources but sometimes their personnel are stretched too thin. A PI will focus on your missing child to diligently piece together their whereabouts with the given information. They also have access various sources of information and generally work without any distractions.