Parental Abduction Child Recovery Team (PACRT) provides direct
services to the "left behind parent" in cases of kidnapping
of a child or children by the non-custodial parent or other family
U.S. Department of Justice estimates that there are between 200,000
and 300,000 reported cases of parental kidnapping per
year. Most "child find" agencies only deal with
stranger abductions or, at best, provide referrals
for direct services to the left behind parent. According
to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, PACRT
is the ONLY program of its kind in the
country that provided DIRECT services
to the left behind parent.
services fill a void in the child recovery system. In many
states, the "Amber Alert" program does not apply to
parental kidnapping. Parental kidnapping is typically not
given a high priority by law enforcement because it often presents
confusing problems and/or questions. A stranger abduction
is clear and easy to identify. A parental abduction is often confused
by custody orders, visitation schedules, and the like. Left
behind parents are also faced with confusion as to what to do
when their child is not returned by the non-custodial parent.
They will often wait several days to see if the parents
will return the child voluntarily. When they eventually
call law enforcement, the are often told to get a lawyer and go
to court. The children who are abducted often suffer emotional
and sometimes physical consequences. They are often told
by the non-custodial parent that the custodial parent has died,
is ill, or simply does not want them any more and has abandoned
them. They are often forced to change identities and to
move frequently, causing significant social and emotional damage.
provides a toll free telephone number (1-866-467-3163)
and this website via which people can access information and/or
request assistance. When a call or contact is identified
as a potential case, a formal intake procedure is utilized to
ensure that the person requesting the services is actually qualified
to receive them. After it is determined that the case fits the
PACRT acceptance protocol, a case team is convened, which may
consist of any or all of the following professionals, depending
on the actual requirements of the case: an attorney, a private
investigator, a psychologist, a representative from law enforcement,
and a media consultant. As mentioned, actual make-up of
the case team may vary, depending upon individual case requirements.
goal is to have the Team meet with the parent with 24 to 48 hours
of initial contact. Working with the parent, a plan for
recovery is developed. The attorney may provide assistance
in obtaining a custody order, registering an order, advocating
with the court system and law enforcement, and negotiating with
the kidnapping parent. The private investigator may conduct
a search to determine the child's whereabouts, work with local
and national law enforcement officers, the National Center for
Missing and Exploited Children, and other agencies that may be
able to offer assistance. The psychologist may offer support
for the parent during the recovery process. He/she may also attend
the actual recovery to provide support for the child if the situation
is traumatic. The media consultant may work with the parent,
the attorney, the private investigator, and others to manage the
media that may be involved. The media consultant may also
prepare press releases and advise the parent and others on media
interviews. PACRT ALWAYS encourages
the appropriate law enforcement agency to become part of the team.
TEAM WILL RECOVER A CHILD ONLY WITH THE
ASSISTANCE AND ATTENDANCE OF LAW ENFORCEMENT.
services are provided ONLY through the recovery phase. Once
the child is recovered and returned safely to the custodial parent,
our services terminate. We will, however, provide referrals
to other agencies for ongoing services and assistance.
do not charge a fee for our services, but do ask the parent to
contribute to the expenses of the recovery, if possible. However,
the parent is under no obligation to do so and if is unable to
make such a contribution, our services are provided free of charge.
members of our Board of Directors began to voluntarily provide
services to parents (including financing for recoveries) on a
case by case basis. This informal networking grew into PACRT.
The program was officially launched on November 19, 2004. Prior
to the public launch of the program, we handled a series of "test
cases" to develop our protocols, policies, and procedures.
We made several successful recoveries using all volunteer
services. We recovered an 8-day old infant within 48 hours
of receiving the call from the parent. We also recovered a child
who was abducted from Minnesota and was found living with his
father in Jamaica. We are currently actively working on
a number of other recovery cases. These cases involve working
with local law enforcement agencies and with the U.S. State Department
in one instance.
fund raising efforts use direct mail, personal solicitation, as
well as private and government grants. There is also a place
on this website where individuals may make direct contributions
using credit cards. (See our "Contribute"
page.) All direct contributions go directly to cover the
costs of recovery.
Board of Directors is currently all volunteer. They
do not receive any compensation. Board members and other
volunteers provide direct support services as well as organizational
activities such as bookkeeping, grant writing, website maintenance,
present, there are no paid employees of PACRT. It is hoped
that we will have a paid Executive Director within calendar year,
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