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Missing Children's Society of Canada's MCSC rescu app

Kawartha Lakes challenges you to download the
MCSC rescu app

Kawartha Lakes, in collaboration with our first responders, is proud to be the first municipality in Ontario to endorse the Missing Children's Society of Canada's (MCSC) Child Search Network and MCSC rescu app. We're encouraging all members of our community to download the app to help missing children get home safely.

Join the Missing Children's Society of Canada's Child Search Network by downloading the MCSC rescu app today. The app will allow you to:

                               MCSC red balloon shaped icon used as a bulletpoint Receive alerts when Kawartha Lakes children go missing

                               MCSC red balloon shaped icon used as a bulletpoint Provide tips directly to local police services

                               MCSC red balloon shaped icon used as a bulletpoint Challenge friends and family to join the search

Scan the code below with your phone camera or go to the MCSC rescu app website to download the app:

QR code with the MCSC rescu app logo in the centre, scan with your phone to download the app

About the Missing Children's Society of Canada

Missing Children's Society of Canada logo

The Missing Children Society of Canada's (MCSC) mandate is to help return missing children to a safe environment. The organization, established in 1986, has evolved from one distributing posters to find a missing child to one embracing the latest technology to help police in the search for that child.

MCSC also reaches out to enlist the help of other professionals in the search and location of missing children in addition to working with traditional media and online/social media to bring public awareness to cases of missing kids.

MCSC provides affected families with knowledge and resources throughout the search and reunification while ensuring that all its programs are free so that all families in need of help receive it, regardless of their financial situation.

Watch this video to learn more about the MCSC and the MCSC rescu app:

About the MCSC rescu app

MCSC rescu app logo

The Missing Children Society of Canada (MCSC) is behind the Child Search Network, a communication tool with a series of components, including an app and social media platforms. It allows police departments across Canada to reach members of the community whose eyes, ears and voices are critical in the search for a missing child.

One of the key elements of the Child Search Network is the MCSC rescu app, an easy-to-use application that was created for MCSC by Esri Canada and is populated, in part, with information on missing children cases pulled from databases by technology developed by Microsoft.

People can download the MCSC rescu app to their phones and other devices, where they'll see continually updated information from police on missing children in Canada. Active cases are divided by region and tips on specific cases can be submitted with one click through the app's case page. Critically, users are also invited to share that case page to their contacts, through their social networks, including text, email and social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook and Twitter.

App users can also register to receive SMS alerts on cases in their area that police deem critical, but that don't meet the specific criteria required to become an AMBER Alert. 

Combine the communications power of MCSC rescu with the reach of everyday social media such as Twitter and Facebook, which is another component of the Child Search Network, and it's clear how quickly that one poster can end up on the virtual equivalent of millions of telephone poles. 

As more people join the Child Search Network, by downloading the MCSC rescu app, following MCSC on social media, signing up for SMS alerts and sharing case information with their networks, it's easy to imagine the exponential reach one case file can have.

Information on Bulk Downloading the App for your Organization
The app can be easily pushed to your organization's smartphones by using an Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) system. If you'd like to bulk download the app for all of the phones across your organization, read MCSC's Bulk Download instructions here.
AMBER Alert versus MCSC Child Search Alert

AMBER Alerts are issued by police only when a missing child under age 18 is believed to have been abducted and is in imminent danger. They are mandatory and sent through the National Public Alerting system to mobile phones and on broadcast media, through social media and on electronic highway signs. Learn more about AMBER alerts here.

AMBER Alerts include the name and a description of the abducted child, who he or she might be with and descriptions of any vehicle suspected of being used in the alleged abduction. They are broadcast to a large geographic area (e.g. Northern Ontario, Southern Ontario, etc.) and received based on real-time location.

MCSC rescu alerts are issued by the Missing Children Society of Canada in conjunction with police. They are issued only after an investigating team has defined the perimeter of the search and are only issued to people who have registered with MCSC to receive the text alerts.

MCSC rescu alerts include the name of the missing child, the place where he or she is from and a link to the case on the MCSC rescu site. They are issued when new missing children cases are reported to police and the public’s help is needed.

MCSC rescu alerts can be targeted to a smaller, more specific geographic area (e.g. city or street). The alert is received based on the location you specify when you register for alerts. Since MCSC rescu alerts only go to people who have downloaded the app, it's incredibly important that once you have downloaded the app, you share and encourage your social circles to do the same!

Define a Missing Child

MCSC defines a missing child as any person under the age of 18 whose whereabouts is unknown. There are several types of missing children cases, as outlined below:

Endangered runaway:
A youth who is voluntarily away from home without permission.

Lost, injured, or otherwise missing:
A child who has disappeared under unknown circumstances.

Abandoned minor:
A child not accompanied by an adult legally responsible for him or her.

Family abduction: 
The taking, retention, or concealment of a child by a family member, or custodian, in derogation of the custody rights.

Non-family abduction:
The coerced and unauthorized taking of a child by someone other than a family member.

Why do children run away? Know the signs to look out for and learn prevention tips

Why do children run away from home?

  • Family dynamics
  • Involvement with high-risk peer groups
  • Mental health issues
  • Substance abuse issues
  • Abuse or bullying
  • Teen pregnancy

What are the signs to look out for?

  • Change in mood or behaviour
  • Rebellious or reckless behaviours increasing
  • Excessive time spent online
  • Problems in school (struggling with grades, skipping classes, discipline issues, etc.)
  • Drastic changes in appearance
  • Becoming involved with gangs or unexpected change in group of friends
  • Self-harming behaviour
  • Saving money or keeping belongings in a bag/packing up belongings

Prevention Tips:

  • Ensure communication is healthy within your family.
  • Address home issues, particularly with major upheavals such as divorce, remarriage, separation, or other things such as substance abuse issues.
  • Pay attention to your child’s relationships and engage other adults in your child’s life to support and alert if they notice a change in behaviour that you may not notice or see.
  • Record your child’s information. Think of anything that could be used in an emergency - name, nicknames, physical characteristics, weight, height, identifying marks, school, friend’s contact, daily habits, social media accounts, and recent photographs.
What to do if your child goes missing?
  • Remain calm. A clear mind is best at this time.
  • Think about what might have happened. Is the child hiding, did the child get lost, abducted or were they in an accident? Did the child run away?
  • If your child was at home, check around the house. Look for small hiding places such as cupboards, piles of laundry, under beds or behind furniture, basements, attics, tool sheds, heating ducts, unlocked vehicles or old refrigerators.
  • Check to see whether the child is at someone’s house – a neighbour's, family member or friend. Have contact information close at hand.
  • If you are in a store, notify the manager or an employee quickly. Also notify mall security or ask the store to do so.
  • Check to see whether clothing or personal items are missing. Look for clues or messages that could have been left. This could indicate a child has run away.
  • If the child cannot immediately be found, contact police through 911. There is no law in Canada requiring a waiting period before reporting a missing child (anyone under 18 years and younger) to police.
  • Be prepared with an up-to-date photo of your child and any information such as what they were wearing or carrying that day. Also know unique characteristics such as birthmarks, eyeglasses, braces or jewelry.
  • Call a relative or friend for help.
  • If the search garners media attention, be prepared to have someone comment. Ask the police for help in this matter.
  • In the event the child calls, make sure someone is home to take the call and that the cell phones of important family members are always charged.
  • Once you have contacted police, contact the Missing Children's Society of Canada at 1-800-661-6160.

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