Child Find Alberta, an organization that has worked with missing children and their families for three decades, will close this Friday.
In a statement posted on their website, the organization’s board of directors chair, Jeff Rutledge, said after months of thoughtful and “valuable discussion and debate, the Board of Directors of Child Find Alberta has undertaken its most significant decision” to close their offices permanently.
Child Find Alberta says its services are not needed in the same way they were when the organization first began in 1983.
Rutledge emphasized the decision to close isn’t a negative one, rather the growth of the internet and social media have meant fewer children are going missing.
“As the internet and social media have shrunk our global community, the incidence of missing and abducted children has drastically decreased and high quality educational resources and tools for parents and families have become available widely online,” said Rutledge.
And while the number of missing children has decreased thanks to the internet, Rutledge adds the online world “has created a new problem” – a higher incidence of children being exploited electronically.
Rutledge says Child Find Alberta was Canada’s first child search agency. In 2010, it partnered with the Missing Children Society of Canada, an organization that Rutledge says will continue the work started by Child Find Alberta.