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About Us

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About Us

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children is a private, non-profit 501(c)(3) corporation whose mission is to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization. NCMEC works with families, victims, private industry, law enforcement, and the public to assist with preventing child abductions, recovering missing children, and providing services to deter and combat child sexual exploitation.

Every child deserves a safe childhood.


Regional Offices

NCMEC has regional offices
located in:
New York

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Learn more about NCMEC’s executive team and board of directors.

John Walsh in 1980s

Read more about NCMEC’s history and the national movement to help missing and exploited children.

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Check out "Our Impact" for statistics and information about NCMEC's work to help keep children safer.

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View career openings and learn more about why NCMEC is such a rewarding place to work.


Learn more about NCMEC's finances, activities, and partnerships from previous years.

The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® was established in 1984 as a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization.  Today, NCMEC performs the following 16 specific programs of work, funded in part by federal grants (34 U.S.C. § 11293):


A.           (i)  operate a national 24-hour toll-free call center to which individuals may—

                    (I)  report child sexual exploitation and the location of any missing child; and

                    (II)  request information pertaining to procedures necessary to reunite such child with such child’s parent;

            (ii)  manage the AMBER Alert Secondary Distribution Program; and

            (iii) coordinate the operation of such hotline with the operation of the national communications system referred to in part C of subchapter III;

B.       operate the official national resource center and information clearinghouse for missing and exploited children;

C.       provide to State and local governments, public and private nonprofit agencies, State and local educational agencies, and individuals, information regarding—

            (i)         free or low-cost legal, food, lodging, and transportation services that are available for the benefit of missing and exploited children and their families;

            (ii)  the existence and nature of programs being carried out by Federal agencies to assist missing and exploited children and their families; and

            (iii) innovative and model programs, services, and legislation that benefit missing and exploited children;

D.       coordinate public and private programs that locate, recover, or reunite missing children with their parents.

E.       provide technical assistance and training to families, law enforcement agencies, State and local governments, elements of the criminal justice system, nongovernmental agencies, local educational agencies, and the general public—

            (i)  in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and treatment of cases involving missing and exploited children;

            (ii)  to respond to foster children missing from the State child welfare system in coordination with child welfare agencies and courts handling juvenile justice and dependency matters; and

            (iii)  in the identification, location, and recovery of victims of, and children at risk for, child sex trafficking;

F.       provide assistance to parents, law enforcement agencies, State and local governments, nongovernmental agencies, child-serving professionals, and other individuals involved in the location and recovery of missing and abducted children nationally and, in cooperation with the Department of State, internationally;

G.       provide technical assistance and case-related resources, including—

            (i)   referrals to

                    (I)     child-serving professionals involved in helping to recover missing and exploited children; and

                    (II)   law enforcement officers in their efforts to identify, locate, and recover missing and exploited children; and

            (ii)     searching public records databases and publicly accessible open source data to—

                    (I)     locate and identify potential abductors and offenders involved in attempted or actual abductions; and

                    (II)   identify, locate, and recover abducted children;

H.       provide forensic and direct on-site technical assistance and consultation to families, law enforcement agencies, child-serving professionals, and nongovernmental organizations in child abduction and exploitation cases, including facial reconstruction of skeletal remains and similar techniques to assist on long-term missing child cases in the identification of unidentified deceased children;

I.       provide education, technical assistance, and information to—

            (i)     nongovernmental organizations with respect to procedures and resources to conduct background checks on individuals working with children; and

            (ii)    law enforcement agencies with respect to identifying and locating noncompliant sex offenders;

J.       facilitate the deployment of the National Emergency Child Locator Center to assist in reuniting missing children with their parents during periods of national disasters;

K.       work with families, law enforcement agencies, electronic service providers, electronic payment service providers, technology companies, nongovernmental organizations, and others on methods to reduce the existence and distribution of online images and videos of sexually exploited children—

            (i)   by operating a CyberTipline to—

                    (I)   provide to individuals and electronic service providers an effective means of reporting internet-related and other instances of child sexual exploitation in the areas of—

                            (aa) possession, manufacture, and distribution of child sexual abuse material;

                            (bb) online enticement of children for sexual acts;

                            (cc) child sex trafficking;

                            (dd) extraterritorial child sexual abuse and exploitation;

                            (ee) child sexual molestation;

                            (ff) unsolicited obscene material sent to a child;

                            (gg) misleading domain names; and

                            (hh) misleading words or digital images on the internet; and

                            (II) make reports received through the CyberTipline available to the appropriate law enforcement agency for its review and potential investigation; and

            (ii)  by operating a child victim identification program to assist law enforcement agencies in identifying victims of child sexual abuse material and other sexual crimes and support the recovery of children from sexually exploitative situations, including by providing information on legal remedies available to such victims;

L.       provide support services, consultation, and assistance to missing and sexually exploited children, parents, their families, and child-serving professionals on—

            (i)  recovery support, including counseling recommendations and community support;

            (ii)  family and peer support;

            (iii)     requesting the removal of child sexual abuse material and sexually exploitive content depicting children from the internet, including by assisting with requests to providers (as defined in section 2258E of title 18, United States Code) to remove visual depictions of victims that—

                    (I)     constitute or are associated with child sexual abuse material; or

                    (II)   do not constitute child sexual abuse material but are sexually suggestive;

M.       develop and disseminate programs and educational information to families, child-serving professionals, law enforcement agencies, State and local governments, nongovernmental organizations, schools, local educational agencies, child-serving organizations, and the general public on—

            (i) the prevention of missing children and child sexual exploitation;

            (ii) internet safety, including tips and strategies to promote safety for children using technology (including social media), and reduce risk relating to—       

                    (I)     cyberbullying;

                    (II)   child sex trafficking;

                    (III)  youth-produced child sexual abuse material or sexting;

                    (IV) sextortion; and

                    (V)   online enticement;

N.       provide technical assistance and training to local educational agencies, schools, State and local law enforcement agencies, individuals, and other nongovernmental organizations that assist with finding missing and abducted children in identifying and recovering such children and preventing child sexual exploitation;

O.        coordinate with and provide technical assistance to Federal, State, and local government agencies relating to cases of children missing from a State or Tribal child welfare system and assist the efforts of law enforcement agencies and State and Tribal child welfare agencies in—

            (i)  coordinating to ensure the reporting, documentation, and resolution of cases involving children missing from a State or Tribal child welfare system; and

            (ii)  responding to foster children missing from a State or Tribal child welfare system; and

P.       provide technical assistance and recovery support services, to law enforcement agencies and first responders in identifying, locating, and recovering victims of, and children at risk for, child sex trafficking.