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Friday, July 29, 2011

No Shame In Her Game: Casey Anthony Wants 1.5 Million For First Interview

This headline hit the news a few days ago.  It has generated quite the response from the public and media outlets alike.  And most seem to be siding with the fact the journalism outlets with a shred of dignity should not and will not offer Casey Anthony any money or enter into negotiations for paid interviews with this [insert adjective & noun here for Casey Anthony].

"We can book just about anyone based on the strength of our journalism, the excellence of our anchors, correspondents, and producers, and the size of our audience," said ABC spokesman Jeffrey Schneider in an article from The Daily Beast.

Well said, Jeffery Schnider.  All media outlets should be following this lead.  NO MEDIA OUTLET SHOULD PAY for this woman's twisted details... Details we would struggle to believe anyways.

No one should ever exploit the tragic murder or lose of an innocent child, especially for financial gain!  Any news/media outlet paying ANYONE for this story or interview should be boycotted.

Resources:
The Palm Beach Post http://bit.ly/pFz81C
The Orlando Sentinel http://thesent.nl/q5YuIg

Thursday, July 28, 2011

PSA: Where Sheep Gather™

video

The Internet has no equal in the areas of teaching, learning, and communicating. Users of all ages have global information and communication resources instantly accessible with the click of a button. Social media and Smartphone’s have accelerated this phenom as the social "norm" in recent years.

Child safety organizations, law enforcement, as well as parents and educators, are continually striving to find an approach that provides access to this wealth of knowledge without compromising a child's safety. The largest majority of Internet users (AKA The World) want to protect those in their care from inappropriate and offensive websites and potentially dangerous or life-threatening social media experiences (sexual solicitation, cyberbullying, and sexting).

There are some adequate tools available for parents dealing with young kids in the home (i.e. parental locks, filtering software), but what about kids out at a friend’s house, the public library or even that trusty Smartphone in their pocket?

Our prevention education PSA, titled Where Sheep Gather™, was produced to raise awareness about online safety and encourage parents to talk to their children. The overall goal was to develop this PSA into a 30 minute TV quality movie. The initial project was created as a collaboration between Child Quest, Detective Frank Swaringen of the San Jose Police Department, and selected Law Enforcement entities. Detective Swaringen wrote the script based on his experiences while working in the Sexual Assault Unit and interviewing child predators in jail.  Detective Swaringen has designed programs and taught ‘Child Safety’ to thousands of children, parents, teachers, and Law Enforcement officers.

Unfortunately, due to funding, this project never made it past the PSA phase. The script is still ready for a full 30 minute TV quality movie. The goal was to produce a state-of-the art movie that has the production value of a first-rate teen movie of today and educational value for pre-teens, families and educators. The real-life drama we all know exist, aligning with today’s teen media experiences, this movie/video would portray the online dangers preteens and teens deal with every time they log on to the Internet.

For more information on this project or to find out about Internet safety presentations for your community, please email info@childquest.org

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Law Enforcement Perspective: Exposing the Danger & Prevention

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At Child Quest International (CQI), we believe education is an essential element in keeping our youth safe. Providing awareness and safety education to children, teens, pre-teens, and parents is the foundation for our goal to stop child victimization.

We have long been a component of abduction prevention education with CQI’s Our Kids Are Safe Kids safety programs including our award-winning Milk Cartons: The Way back Home abduction safety video and radKIDS Personal Empowerment Safety Education with certified instructors. In an effort to keep kids safer online, CQI has extended our curriculum to include Internet Safety with i-SAFE certified instructors for children and parents. Our nationally recognized programs are the leading prevention education programs in the nation. With the incorporation of the highly acclaimed Web Wise Kids and Netsmartz interactive educational programs, we feel our safety programs further assist the community in “Keeping Hope Alive” and keeping kids safer online.
 
Contact please contact us at 888-818-HOPE or info@childquest.org to find out more about programs, resources, and presentations.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

A Teacher Speaks: Educational Videos Protect Kids

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Child Quest's highly acclaimed, multi-award-winning educational video was created to help children understand what they can do to prevent child abduction, and has been credited with preventing several abductions.

The original screenplay was written by San Jose Police Officer, Frank Swaringen, after interviewing sexual predators and child kidnappers about their methods of luring children.

Through an engaging story line, live action, exciting animation and special effects, children learn what they can do to keep themselves safe in a non-frightening manner. A guide for educators and parents is included with each video to help open the way for ongoing discussions with children about their safety.

Visit our website to order your copy today to keep your kids safer!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Success Story: "Child Quest Helped Us More Than Anyone Can Understand"

A concerned and frustrated family was looking for help when their 15 year-old daughter went missing on the morning of Thursday May 26, 2010. She was dropped off at school, but did not attend classes that day. The family filed a missing person’s report with law enforcement, but say they were getting “very little” assistance because their daughter was considered a runaway. Unfortunately, this is a common problem for left-behind families and missing children alike.

After plastering the local area with missing flyers for a week, and several false leads the family received from their daughter’s friends, the frantic family reached out on Facebook saying “We have heard very little in the last 24 hours. Law enforcement assistance is still very limited. She’s been missing for 7 days now and she could be anywhere! Please pass her info on so we can find her!”

After 9 days missing and many Facebook postings, the family was still searching for their daughter primarily on their own. Thankfully, they were referred to Child Quest International (CQI) through our Facebook network of caring and proactive individuals. After verifying the case with law enforcement, CQI quickly created and distributed flyers to our vast network of Facebook friends and via our in-house Critical Reach electronic alert system. We also directed the family to NCMEC and the state’s Missing Children Clearinghouse for additional assistance.

Once CQI was on the case, things started taking a turn for the better. The missing teenage girl was safely reunited with her family within several days of our involvement. While she may have willingly run away, CQI believes every missing child is at-risk (endangered??). We treat all cases of missing children with the same urgency and pride ourselves in how quickly we are able to react. Here’s what the family had to say in their own words:

“Thank you so much for your call to dispatch. It must have prompted extra attention to the case because we FINALLY have a deputy assigned. Before your call to them, the police department hadn't even assigned a deputy to her case despite daily phone calls from family members. We called NCMEC but are awaiting a follow up call from a case worker so she is not completely entered into their system. The attention you helped draw to this case, in conjunction with the realization that your agency was doing more than they were incited more police attention. Thanks again!” - [Stepmother]

“And Child Quest is badass please friend that page they helped us more than anyone can understand.” - [Father] (We love his enthusiasm for us!)

“I have never been a huge fan of Facebook, but I actually found a good use for it. Child Quest International was instrumental in finding my daughter and getting cops involved. I will stay on Facebook just to spread their messages. Thank you Child Quest.” - [Father]

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What About Parental Abduction?

Most parents worst nightmare is that their child will be abducted by a stranger, but the odds are much higher that the kidnapper will be a relative. In fact, statistics show parental or family abduction as one of the largest contributors to missing children only behind runaways/throwaways.  But far too frequently, we hear parental abduction is not a law enforcement problem.  It is commonly regarded as a civil problem, domestic relations issue, or something lawyers should work out. After all, the child is with a parent. How bad can it be?

Nothing could be further from the truth. Parental abduction (or family abduction) of a child often scars children and their left behind families for life. In addition to psychological trauma, these abducted children often suffer from inadequate schooling, poor nutrition, unstable lifestyles, neglect, or other forms of abuse while in hiding. The abducting parent often poisons the child against the left behind parent until the abducted child believes the left behind parent is dead, no longer loves or cares for them, and/or will harm them if found.

The victimization that children suffer when taken by a parent is no less than that of children taken by a stranger, yet the response of society varies considerably. It is this variance that lessens the chance of aggressive investigation by law enforcement or from the public intervening. The left behind families are left in a constant state of emotional turmoil, never knowing if their children are safe, where they are, whether they will ever see them again, or if their even alive.

Parental abductions need to be treated as what they are – crimes against children. Parental abduction is a crime in all 50 states. In the State of California, child abduction – even by a family member – is a felony and punishable by up to three years in prison and a $10,000 fine. Communities, law enforcement, and the courts need to recognize parental abduction as child endangerment and treat the crime and perpetrator accordingly.

Child Quest International believes parents who abduct and conceal their children should be held accountable and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. If a case is filed and the defendant found guilty, judges need to hand down sentences that are equal to the crime. Parental abduction is a nationwide epidemic and will continue to be until the justice system takes more of a hard line position on this crime.

Resources:
NISMART II (National Incidence Studies of Missing, Abducted, Runaway, and Thrownaway Children) "Children Abducted by Family Members: National Estimates and Characteristics," Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, Heather Hammer, David Finkelhor, and Andrea J. Sedlak (October 2002).

"The Kid is With a Parent, How Bad Can it Be? The Crisis of Family Abduction," by Ernie Allen, President and Chief Executive Officer of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (1991)

“America’s Hidden Crime: When the Kidnapper is Kin”, A Polly Klaas Foundation Report on Family Abduction (March 2004)