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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Keeping Hope Alive!


Child Quest International as been directly involved in the safe recovery of
38 missing children in 2011.
We would not have been able to help these children and their left-behind families without
YOUR support and assistance.
Thank YOU for taking the time and effort to help Child Quest International protect children
and for joining our mission to stop child victimization.

Together WE ARE KEEPING HOPE ALIVE for all missing children!

The Reality of Missing Children...


Approx. 115 Kids go missing each year by "Stereotypical" kidnappings. Approx. 203,900 kids go missing each year by FAMILY ABDUCTION! And according to the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, approx 1.6 million children run away from home each year. Of course not all of these runaway children stay on the streets for very long, but roughly half do! This is a major problem for children, families, and the community as many run away children turn to drug dealing, prostitution, and panhandling in order to get by on the streets. While many missing children agencies do not work runaway cases, CQI is Keeping Hope Alive for ALL missingchildren and is available to assist in the recovery of both abducted and runaway children. 

Our Toll Free reporting hotline number is 1-888-818-HOPE (4673).

[Statistic Sources: NCMEC & NRS]
[Photo Source:  FBI]

Wednesday, November 23, 2011


We are thankful for your support.
Happy Thanksgiving from our family to yours!
~Child Quest International

Friday, November 18, 2011

Inside AMBER Alert

video


When a child is abducted, there is a frantic search for their kidnapper. When an AMBER Alert is launched in California, your eyes and ears can help save that child's life. 

CBS47's Steve McCarron takes an exclusive look into who is behind California's AMBER Alert system, what's being done to improve it and how you can step in when seconds count.

Victor Perez will never look at the view from his front porch the same ever again. On October 4, 2010, breaking news was spreading quickly about the AMBER Alert issued for an 8-year-old girl kidnapped from the front yard of her Central Fresno home. 

Perez, who was not working that day, recognized the suspect's truck from news reports and it was driving right down his street. “Never in my wildest dreams did I think it would be down the street where that happened. He was making a U-Turn right here,” said Perez.

With adrenaline pumping, something inside prompted Perez to step in and help. He got into his truck and tried to stop the suspect, 25-year-old Gregorio Gonzalez. He tried to cut off the truck several times before the chase came to a crashing end and the girl was set free.

“The look in her face, you know, said a million words, you know? Finally when me and her were face-to-face, she was having like a nervous breakdown like she came out of a freezer,” said Perez, whose brave actions that cold, fall morning helped save the young girl’s life.

State leaders say this case is an example of how California's AMBER Alert System is supposed to work. 

Descriptions of abducted children under the age of 18, suspects, and vehicle information released to the public that will hopefully lead to a successful ending. 

George Runner, who now serves on the State's Board of Equalization, wrote the original bill in 2002 that created California's AMBER Alert System. “We felt that it was a really efficient, effective way to get people engaged. Quite frankly, at that point, we didn't realize how effective it would be,” said Runner.

Over the last nine years, 222 victims have been safely rescued or recovered in California and 110 suspects have been taken into custody.

CBS47's Steve McCarron visited the top-secret room in Sacramento called the "Emergency Notification and Tactical Alert Center" or ENTAC, where every AMBER Alert is launched. 

CBS47 is the first Fresno television station invited inside to see how it works. 

For years, current California Highway Patrol Assistant Chief L.D. Maples had the final word on each AMBER Alert Activation. “AMBER Alerts work best when it's targeted, specific information for effectiveness and efficiency reasons,” said Maples.

If a case called in from a local police or sheriff's department fits several strict criteria, officials at ENTAC can authorize an alert, sending out useful information to the public through the media and highway signs in specific regions of the state or counties. 

The alerts can even show up on tens of thousands of lottery machines statewide all at once. 

“There's not really, in my experience, another example of something that's a better collaborative effort between public, private sector, and the media that produces the fact that if you can save one kid... Then obviously it's very effective,” said Maples.

Maples says the future of California's system lies heavily on the technology of tomorrow. You can already sign-up for AMBER Alerts through most cell phone providers, Twitter, and Facebook, but in a state of 37 million people, only 17,000 have joined California's AMBER Alert Facebook page.

Maples says public involvement is key to making it work. “Time is absolutely the worst enemy in a child abduction, besides the person abducting the child, so the clock is something law enforcement is working against,” said Maples.

These days, Perez says he pays closer attention to every AMBER Alert that's issued. Over the past 14 months, he's received a slew of accolades from local and state leaders that now line the mantel inside his cousin's home, along with his favorite – a picture drawn by the little girl he saved.

Victor Perez has been praised as a hero and a Good Samaritan, all because he heard the AMBER Alert and got involved.

Perez is currently working toward one day opening his own contracting business. 

The suspect, Gregorio Gonzalez, is currently in the Fresno County Jail and scheduled to appear in court again on December 15th. 

Below is a list of resources for missing children. There are also several websites to sign up for AMBER Alerts in the related links.

California Highway Patrol
1-800-TELL-CHP  (1-800-835-5247)

1-800-222-FIND  (1-800-222-3463)

1-888-818-HOPE (1-888-818-4673)

Office of Victim Services
(877) 433-9069

1-800-THE-LOST  (1-800-843-5678)

[Source: CBS47.tv]

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

How Parents Can Keep Children Safe While Shopping & Traveling This Holiday Season


Parents need to be careful not to let their guard down or become distracted while traveling or attending public functions during the 2011 holiday season.  The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children (NCMEC) has put together this holiday list to help educate parents about what they should be telling their children to keep them safe while shopping and traveling this busy and festive season.

Parents need to talk with children about safety before heading out to a busy shopping mall or boarding a plane, train, or bus this holiday season. Crowds are greater this time of year and children may easily become separated from their parents, causing confusion and fear. If that should happen, parents need a plan and children should know what to do. 

ALWAYS:
  • Keep children with you at all times while shopping.
  • Accompany and supervise children in public facilities, including restrooms.
  • Have a plan in case you become separated, including a pre-designated spot to meet.
  • Teach children to look for people who can help, such as a uniformed security officer, salesperson or mother with children. 
  • Remind children to remain in the area where they become separated.
NEVER:
  • Dress children in clothing that displays their first or last names, prompting unwelcome attention from people looking for an opportunity to start a conversation with your child.
  • Leave children in toy stores or public facilities expecting supervision from store personnel.
  • Go shopping or attend a public event with a child if you feel you’re going to be distracted. Make other arrangements for child care ahead of time.
     
  • Allow younger children to shop on their own to purchase surprise gifts for friends or family members.
  • Drop off older children at a mall or public place without agreeing on a clear plan for picking them up, including: where, what time, and what to do in case of a change in plans.
If your child is flying or riding a train or bus alone this holiday season, NCMEC and Child Quest International urge parents to remember the following travel safety tips:
  • When you make reservations for your child, specify that the child will be traveling alone.
     
  • Whenever possible, book a non-stop flight or direct route.  Avoid booking the last flight of the day.
  • Plan to visit the airport, train or bus terminal prior to departure. Let your child know what to expect, so the experience will not be so intimidating.
  • In case of delay or cancellation, remain at the station or gate until the train, plane or bus departs.
  • Make sure children travel with proper identification and parents or guardian contact information.
  • Always have a back-up plan for the person or people meeting the plane at the destination, in case they are delayed.
  • Encourage children not to become too friendly with other passengers or to reveal any personal information.  
Additional safety tips can be found at: www.childquest.org

[Source: National Center For Missing & Exploited Children]

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

New Report Published By Pew Research Center


As social media use has become pervasive in the lives of American teens, there have been increasing reports of bullying and other negative implications.  In an effort to navigate many conflicting reports on online experiences, the goal of a new report by Pew Research Center’s Internet & American Life Project is to explore the concept of digital citizenship and how that concept might be formulated into a doable and coherent survey.

The report, “Teens, Kindness and Cruelty on Social Network Sites”, aims to understand the types of experiences teens are having on social networking sites and how they are addressing negative behavior when they see it or experience it.

“Social media use has become so pervasive in the lives of American teens that having a presence on a social network site is almost synonymous with being online,” the study says. “Fully 95% of all teens ages 12-17 are now online and 80% of those online teens are users of social media sites.”

Fielded April 19-July 14, 2011, the study was administered by cell phone and landline in English and Spanish, to 799 teens ages 12-17 and a parent or guardian.  A few of its key findings include: 
  • The majority of social media-using teens say their peers are mostly kind to one another on social network sites. Their views are less positive than those of social media-using adults.
  • 88% of social media-using teens have witnessed other people be mean or cruel on social network sites.
  • 15% of social media-using teens say they have been the target of online meanness.
  • More teens report positive personal outcomes than negative ones from interactions on social network sites: 78% report at least one good outcome and 41% report at least one negative outcome.
  • 19% of teens have been bullied in the past year in some form either in person, online, by text, or by phone
  • A majority of teens say their own reaction has been to ignore mean behavior when they see it on social media.
  • 2/3rds of teens who have witnessed online cruelty have also witnessed others joining in—and 21% say they have also joined in the harassment.
  • 55% of all online teens say they have decided not to post content that might reflect poorly on them in the future.
  • A notable number of teens also engage in online practices that may have the potential to compromise their safety online.
  • 39% of all parents of teens have connected to their child on a social network site, but that does not necessarily prevent online trouble for the teen.
Read the full report to see more detailed findings and analysis of these topics: teens and social networks, privacy and safety issues, parents and online social spaces, social media and digital citizenship, and the role of parents in digital safekeeping and advice-giving.

 

Donate Your Vehicle or Vessel Today! Tax Deductible!


Donating a vehicle or vessel to Child Quest International (CQI) provides crucial support to missing children and child victims of exploitation.  If you have an unwanted vehicle, running or not, donate it to CQI and help protect kids while getting a tax deduction! Our car donation program will pick up your unwanted vehicle or vessel and process all paper at no charge

Call Toll Free 866-617-2927 for FAST and FREE pickup by a local towing service.

Donation proceeds go to the protection and recovery of Missing & Exploited Children. 
We accept almost any vehicle/vessel, RUNNING or NOT! (trucks, vans, RVs, boats, etc)
Fast and professional pick up of your donation running or not.
TAX DEDUCTIBLE DONATION!!!
We also accept Real Estate and Time Shares.
    Please visit our vehicle donation website to donate, or for more information on Child Quest International, please visit our Facebook Page and Profile.

    Friday, November 11, 2011

    Happy Veterans Day


    We protect children, you protect ALL of us.
    Thank you, Veterans.

    If you would like to make a donation in honor of Veterans Day,
    we recommend the following organizations:

    Thursday, November 10, 2011

    We simply couldn't have said it better ourselves....


    By David Haugh - Shed no tears for Joe Paterno.  Save your pity for the innocent boys who will grow up into tortured men, not JoePa.

    Spare me the indignation over Penn State Board of Trustees firing Paterno on Wednesday night over the phone.
     
    Had Paterno picked one up 13 years ago and called the most powerful law-enforcement official he knew in the state, not just the top campus cop, he might have saved innocent boys from an alleged pedophile -- and quite likely his job, his school and his legacy.

    Penn State removed Paterno from that job because, finally, somebody in Creepy Valley did the right thing. Somebody followed a conscience instead of a university handbook. That it came 13 years too late will haunt State College, Pa., forever. It will indelibly stain Paterno's Hall of Fame tenure, as if that matters.

    It never will be enough for the alleged victims of Jerry Sandusky, the former Penn State assistant coach charged with 40 counts of child sexual abuse.

    There are no winners here, all goats and no heroes, but Paterno's ouster was a development worth applauding more than protesting. This was a decision that should have provoked more acceptance than defiance.

    So what were the Penn State students possibly thinking as they rioted all over campus and tipped over cars and a satellite truck? When will they realize, after the buzz wears off and sobering reality sinks in, that they were defending the right to cover up pedophilia? As much as they love JoePa, that's the harsh reality.  


    Woody Hayes threw a punch. Bob Knight threw a chair. But in 10 years or so we will remember Paterno as much as anything for the alleged molestation he enabled that made us want to throw up. He always can be referred to as a great football coach. But I still cringed hearing loyal ex-players refer to Paterno as a great man.

    Yes, the good Paterno did at Penn State outweighed the bad over six decades. To some it's complicated. To others it's simple. Right now, I still see a guy who was one of Pennsylvania's most powerful people who looked away and failed to protect children. Right now, the details of the 23-page grand jury report used to indict Sandusky last Saturday remain too fresh to think Paterno earned the right to leave on his own terms.

    He didn't.

    *To read the rest of this straight forward article from the Chicago Tribune, click here.


    Teen Runaways: What's A Parent To Do?

    It is often hard for parents and the community to understand why teen’s runaway (which account for the largest group of missing children). In an effort to help shed some light on a problem plaguing our youth, here are a few reasons that may help you to understand the dilemma.

    The harsh reality is that teens may often feel like they have to escape and get away from home to avoid abusive home lives. For example, maybe a parent has a drinking problem and disciplines their children with a heavy hand or disappears for days on end with children left to fend for themselves. Or another example is a father (or someone else in the family circle) who is a bit too “touchy-feely” with the children and they have no one to turn to for help out of fear that no one will believe them. For some children, running away seems like the only solution to a life shattering problems.

    It is possible for a teen to runaway just because of feeling like they are misunderstood. Right or wrong, they are searching for others they can be themselves with or feel a sense of belonging. Other times it may be in the name of so-called “love”, and teens runaway to be with their significant other. Most teens don’t even realize and understand the consequences of these types of action, they act without thinking first. They simply react, which opens the door to Pandora’s Box. Many runaway youth fall victim to crime, drugs, sex slavery, and/or even worse, death.

    In order to effectively and compassionately help these children, we, as a society, need to remember that "runaways" are victims too.  For in-depth details on Why They Run, read the National Runaway Switchboard report here.  For additonal facts about runaways, click here.

    Warning Signs Your Teen Might Runaway

    Even though one can never really know for sure what a teenager is thinking, there are signs that may be visible in your child’s behavior. One thing to look for is your current level of communication. Do you ever agree on anything or does it seem you only argue or fuss all the time or just keep conversations to a minimum due to “generational differences”. Does your teen act withdrawn and/or completely unsociable? Does your teen avoid interaction with family or family friends? Does your teen act strange or have extremely emotional feelings that are out of control? Has your teen been hanging out with bad company and/or others who drink alcohol, use drugs, or other teens that just go out to “look for trouble”? If you notice these signs, consider it a “red flag” and a warning sign that you need to reach out and try communicating with your teen before it is too late, even if you have to get outside help to do so.

    What You Can Do As A Parent

    While some responsibility lies with teens to be willing to face challenges in a mature and appropriate manner, it’s important for parents to do their part as parents. Try showing your teen respect and keep communication open, listening to what they have to say. Be willing to believe your children if they disclose sexual abuse to you (especially by a family member or family friend) and get them the help they need. Denying a child’s claim of sexual abuse will only victimize the child further and encourage them to runaway as their only solution. Don’t scream and yell, or threaten your teen, this too will only make them want to leave more. Try not to interrupt your teenager when they do come to you to talk, sometimes it helps the most to just listen, even if you have your reservations about something their telling you. If you don’t agree with your child at least listen to their side, then calmly give your side, if things start to get out of control, take a break and revisit the conversation after both sides have had a “cooling-down” period.  Bottom line, communication is the key to your child's safety and it should be a family priority.

    If you feel your child may runaway, you can seek professional help through counseling, or just try talking to them and explain how much you love them, and that you will always be there for them.

    Family resources for runaway prevention:

    Boys Town 1-800-448-3000

    National Runaway Switchboard 1-800-RUNAWAY

    Resources if your child has runaway:

    Child Quest International 1-888-818-HOPE

    National Center for Missing & Exploited Children 1-800-843-5678

    New Study: Online Predators, Victims, & Myths

    We've all seen the Dateline series: To Catch A Predator.  So, the fact that predators lurk online to prey on young children and teenagers is nothing new to you.  The reality is that allowing kids to go online without supervision or ground rules is like allowing them to explore a major metropolitan area by themselves. Probably not the best idea, right?  The Internet, like a city, offers an enormous array of entertainment and educational resources but also presents some potential risks.  One of the greatest potential risks, in addition to bullying and exposure to inappropriate material, is child predators.

    There are many myths about how predators operate.  For instance, did you know that most predators don't pretend to be teens to lure their victims?  This new study from the University of New Hampshire and Internet Solutions For Kids, Inc. will help you separate fact from fiction.