we DO bring them home . . .





The Full PACRT Story

     The 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 member. 

     The 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.

     PACRT's 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.

     PACRT 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.

     The 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.


     PACRT's 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.

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     We 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.

     Various 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.

     Our 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.

     Our 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, etc.

At present, there are no paid employees of PACRT.  It is hoped that we will have a paid Executive Director within calendar year, 2005.

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