Sowing the Wisdom of Former Missing-Children

Take Root members hold their missing child posters
Take Root’s In Your Hands initiative uses the most powerful, experienced and insightful voice there is to educate others about the impact of family abduction:  The voice of the abducted.


Photo:”Rooters” hold their own missing child posters


Family abduction is the most common form of child abduction in America, with profound and frequently lifelong traumatic impact on its victims.  So why is it a crime against children that remains laden with misconception and myth?

Take Root believes that one culprit is a persistent lack of child-centered data and testimony.  Rather than framing the crime as an act of ABDUCTION, the story too often becomes that of a custody battle between warring adults. Take Root’s In Your Hands workshop uses firsthand testimony from our membership of former missing children alongside groundbreaking data and illuminating new victimology theory to help audiences understand what happens to a child who is abducted and hidden by a parent. The workshop not only sensitizes multi-disciplinary service providers to the realities of family abduction, it provides an approach to differentiate cases calling for an urgent law enforcement/missing-child response from more benign forms of custodial interference.

Take Root’s innovative, child-centered approach to framing family abduction is featured in the Department of Justice publication The Crime of Family Abduction and has been utilized by the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children, the National Amber Alert Coordinators, the National Judicial College, the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, and the Association of Missing & Exploited Children’s Organizations, among many others, and at conferences including Dallas Crimes Against Children and Chadwick Center Conference on Child Maltreatment.  To host an In Your Hands workshop call 1 (800) ROOT-ORG or provide the following information:

IYH Training

Take Root is in the process of developing online materials that will equip child advocates nationwide to help lower the incidence rate of family abduction by raising issue awareness and understanding from a child-centered perspective, using Take Root’s findings and resource materials. The following data leads us to conclude that increasing child-centered understanding of family abduction can lower the incidence rate:



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Also see The Missing Side Collection