Missing Child Response & Child Exploitation Prevention

Missing Child Response & Child Exploitation Prevention

Grant Year: 2018 | Focus Area: Health & Wellness | Grant Amount: $100,300 | Grant Status: In Progress

Missing Child Response & Child Exploitation Prevention

KlaasKIDS Foundation, Inc.

Created in 2003, the mission of KlaasKIDS Foundation is to stop crimes against children through the deployment of a professional response team and by offering preventative education and child safety events within our community. The local organization provides professionally trained search managers to assist organizing a comprehensive community response to a missing child case as well as provides professionally certified search and rescue technicians and specially trained canines to search for the lost, missing and abducted. As a protection initiative, the organization deploys intelligence analysts to assist federal, state and local law enforcement agencies during child trafficking sting operations. Immediate counseling, transportation, and services are provided to rescued victims. Free digital fingerprinting, DNA kits and child safety information is given to families in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties at Child Safety Events. Following the recent abduction and murder of a young Pensacola girl, the organization created #OhSnapYouInstaTwitFace which provides parents and youth with social media education and child exploitation prevention techniques.


Project Description

Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties average approximately 600 missing children each year. A number of these children are lost, missing or abducted requiring a search and rescue response. In 2017, the local KlaasKIDS team responded 83 times to these missions, an increase of 53%. A national study of child abductions showed that 99% of children abducted were murdered within 24 hours; 74% were murdered within the first 3 hours. The project contains two components, one proactive and the other reactive toward the growing problem of child exploitation. The grant will fund a proactive preventative education program to middle and high school students in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties. Funds will be used to schedule SaySomething Assemblies, a school assembly program for middle and high schoolers that offers a highly interactive, multimedia presentation focused on stopping human trafficking child exploitation and child bullying. The project will also enhance the Foundation’s capability to efficiently and effectively respond to the crisis of a missing or abducted child. IMPACT 100 funds will be used to equip an existing mobile missing child response center with 3 all-in-one computers, WiFi router, GPS trackers and a laser printer for search planning, mapping, communications and rapid creation of missing child flyers. A dedicated 2018 Dodge 3500 4X4 crew cab will be purchased to pull the mobile response center.

Community Impact

The impact will be an overall increase in awareness, education and knowledge for students, parents and school officials regarding child exploitation. The education will address the dangers of social media, bullying, human trafficking, online exploitation and ways to identify the indicators of same in order to respond more effectively. Free "Train-the-Trainer" education on human trafficking, social media dangers and bullying indicators will be provided to school officials. The mobile command center will be deployed as a mobile education lab to community centers, civic events and existing child safety events to provide social media and child exploitation training. A school assembly schedule for Escambia and Santa Rosa school districts will be established for Spring and Fall 2019 semesters. Immediate deployment of the mobile missing child response center to the scene
of a missing, lost or abducted child case in Escambia or Santa Rosa County will become possible, and will allow for rapid creation and dissemination of missing child flyers, search mapping and planning, and the deployment and management of local search and rescue resources and emergent community volunteers.