The AFP’s National Missing Persons Coordination Centre (NMPCC), in partnership with The Daniel Morcombe Foundation, has on International Missing Children’s Day 2023 (IMCD) released online resources to encourage parents to talk to their children about safe behaviour.
IMCD is held each year to acknowledge the missing children who have found their way home, remember those who have been victims of crime and continue efforts to find those still missing.
Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough said this year’s IMCD presented a valuable opportunity for parents and guardians to have important conversations with their children about online and offline safety.
“The AFP and NMPCC, in partnership of the Daniel Morcombe Foundation, have released a suite of tools and resources to support parents and guardians talking to their children about safe behaviour,” Assistant Commissioner Gough said.
“It may be a tough conversation for parents and guardians to have, but it can help keep children safe and protected.”
Assistant Commissioner Justine Gough said the resources provided safety tips for both parents and children to familiarise themselves with.
“Being safe on social media is as equally important for children as for parents. Remember to remove friends or followers you don’t know, set your child’s and your own accounts to private, and only share photos with people you know and trust,” Assistant Commissioner Gough said.
“Ensure your child knows their full name, home address and parents’ phone numbers and keep a copy of this information in their backpack.
“Before visiting crowded places or events, consider dressing your child in bright clothing and agree on a meeting spot in case they get lost.”
Bruce Morcombe and Denise Morcombe said when a child went missing the impact on family and friends was huge.
“We need to be better at supporting those left behind who are dealing with unresolved loss,” Bruce Morcombe said.
“IMCD provides a valuable opportunity to educate our young people on ways to stay safe. We recommend that it starts with the creation of a “Family Password”.
“Teach your children that no matter what is offered or story told, they cannot get into a car or secretly meet anyone that does not know your family’s special word.”
Denise Morcombe said: “Parents need to have updated photos and medical records of their children and know what their children are wearing in case they go missing”.