- Missing juveniles are classified as voluntary, abducted by parent, abducted by stranger, or cause of disappearance unknown.
- A Runaway child is considered to be a voluntary missing juvenile.
- A runaway child is always “at risk” and demands prompt attention by law enforcement. Therefore, Police are empowered under the law to take a runaway child into “protective custody,” but the child CANNOT be placed into a lockdown facility or juvenile detention center. Being a runaway is NOT A CRIME only a “status offense.”
- When police find a runaway child, they can take the child home or to the nearest runaway youth shelter. The runaway shelter in Clark County is WESTCARE YOUTH CENTER at 401 S. Martin Luther King Boulevard (385-2020).
- Police CANNOT make a “forced entry” into a private home to recover a runaway child, unless the child is in danger or life-threatening situation. Police, however, can assist parents when a runaway is uncooperative or there is a risk of violence.
- If your child is missing, visit the MISSING CHILDREN section.
National Child Search Assistance Act of 1990: This act includes mandates that eliminate waiting periods before taking a missing child report, including family abduction cases; requires immediate entry of information into the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) on appropriate missing child cases.
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act: First drafted in 1968, the UCCJA has now been adopted in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The UCCJA determines when a state has jurisdiction to make a custody order and provides procedures for interstate enforcement of order in custody conflicts.
Parental Kidnapping Prevention Act: This act requires authorities of every state to enforce and not modify orders made by the state court exercising proper jurisdiction. It also authorizes the use of the Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution Act (UFAP) warrant and the Federal Parent Locator Service (FPLS) in family abductions.
Missing Children Act of 1982: Among other provisions, this legislation ensures that complete descriptions of missing children can be entered into the National Crime Information Center’s computer system, even if the abductor has not been charged with a crime.
Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction and Enforcement Act: “The UCCJEA is a uniform State law that was approved in 1997 by the National Conference of Commissioners on Uniform State Laws (NCCUSL) to replace its 1968 Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act (the UCCJA). NCCUSL drafts and proposes laws in areas where it believes uniformity is important, but the laws become effective only upon adoption by State Legislatures. As of July 2001, 26 jurisdictions had adopted the UCCJEA and it had been introduced in 2000-01 in the legislatures of 10 others.” (Juvenile Justice Bulletin December 2001)