Take Root elevates the voice of the abducted, using the collected wisdom of former missing-children to improve the missing child response.

Take Root was established in response to a lack of direct services for victims of child abduction when they are no longer missing, and, an accompanying lack of data and testimony from victims upon which to build such services.

Our purpose is to add the collected wisdom of former missing children to the public and policy discussions on child-abduction, using the voice of victims to improve America’s missing child response.

We operate a ground-breaking clinically moderated peer support program for former missing children, and, a child abduction studies program that uses what we learn from our ongoing support program work to develop child-centered advocacy initiatives, professional training, and public education.

Take Root’s contribution to the missing child service arena has been called  “game-changing,” “invaluable,” and “essential.”


Take Root’s findings, training, and materials have been used by key missing child agencies including the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the Department of State’s Office of Children’s Issues, The National Judicial College, the Polly Klaas Foundation, and many more.

Take Root was founded in 2002 with assistance from the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and a grant from the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice & Delinquency Prevention.  The agency is the brain-child of Executive Director and Fulbright Scholar Melissa “Liss” Haviv, who was once an abducted child and is today considered a leading expert in the victimology of child abduction.

Take Root's Promise

Among missing child service providers, Take Root stands alone in having worked directly with hundreds of former missing children at all ages and stages of healing, providing ongoing aftercare support and, in the process, amassing an unprecedented knowledge base on the experiences and challenges faced by this population.  We are pleased to have been able to share this knowledge with service providers and impacted families throughout North America, and to have formal strategic partnerships with The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children and the Polly Klaas Foundation.

For additional information, see: FAQS, PERSONNEL, and SUPPORTERS. Journalists may download Take Root’s media kit