Help Find Missing Children with Public Alerting Technology

National Missing Children’s Day is on May 25. As we approach this annual day of increased awareness, state and local governments can encourage businesses, residents and visitors to get involved in community safety efforts by signing up for public alerting.

While most people are familiar with AMBER Alerts, they may not be aware of the Automated Delivery of Alerts on Missing Children (ADAM) Program. ADAM Program alerts are another way community members can become actively involved in the protection of missing children when the requirements for sending an AMBER Alert aren’t met.

A Successful History with AMBER Alerts

In 2020, OnSolve partnered with the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) to provide the communications technology behind their AMBER Alert system. Since then, OnSolve CodeRED has helped with hundreds of missing or abducted children and adults.

How It Works: OnSolve CodeRED

Improve public safety communications in emergency situations with CodeRED.

To send an AMBER Alert, certain criteria must be met. For example, law enforcement must confirm an abduction has occurred. Additionally, the missing child must be 17 years of age or younger and at risk of serious injury or death. There must be enough detailed information to share regarding the child, the captor or the captor’s vehicle. While some states have laws that bypass some of the above requirements, there are often circumstances in which an AMBER Alert can’t be issued, but public alerting could save a child’s life.

The ADAM Program was created with this in mind. And once again, NCMEC and OnSolve have expanded their alerting partnership in support of this program.

Bringing More Missing Children Home with ADAM Program Alerts

The ADAM Program complements AMBER Alerts because it covers situations where the AMBER Alert criteria aren’t met and it’s uncertain if the missing child is in danger. For instance, when a teenager with a history of past problems is missing and there’s no evidence of abduction, law enforcement may consider them a runaway. Another example is when one parent takes a minor without the consent of the other parent. The child is not known or assumed to be at risk of serious injury or death, and there’s also no evidence that an abduction has taken place.

Neither qualify for an AMBER Alert, but in both cases, an ADAM Program alert can be sent. The ADAM Program was designed to rapidly distribute missing child posters from NCMEC to specific geographic search areas. Alerts are subscription based and are sent to individuals within the established grid, as well as police, news and media outlets, schools, businesses and medical centers.

Since its inception, the ADAM Program has helped recover nearly 200 missing children and assisted in efforts on countless other cases.

The Expanding Role of CodeRED

The NCMEC partnership with OnSolve extends the reach of ADAM Program alerts.

When a child is missing, NCMEC will send a digital poster (including a photo) and details including the geographic areas to target to the ADAM Program technology system. The technology creates a list of businesses and individuals to target for poster distribution based on its recipient database. Up until recently, the missing child poster was sent out through email only.

Now, the poster will also be sent as an SMS through CodeRED. The alert will go to all subscribers, as well as those listed in OnSolve’s national call database, free of charge. With the addition of text messaging, alerts reach residents faster and are more targeted.

It’s important to maximize enrollment in the ADAM Program in your community. As the distribution list grows, it increases the likelihood someone will notice something that leads to the recovery of a missing child. When every second counts, getting the word out fast can save lives.

Communications technology like CodeRED is the quickest way to reach everyone in the most user-friendly way. Through effective alerting, citizens can and have been empowered to find missing children. The more you encourage your businesses, residents and visitors to enroll, the better we can protect the children in our communities. 

The Way Forward

OnSolve is committed to helping protect communities and saving lives. We’re honored NCMEC has chosen to put their trust in our technology and are proud to support both AMBER Alerts and the ADAM Program. We strongly encourage all public safety officials to promote the ADAM Program in addition to AMBER Alerts within their communities. Together, we can improve child safety.

Learn more about the ADAM Program and how to sign up for alerts today. To learn more about how CodeRED works, download our brochure.


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