The National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® was established in 1984 as a private, nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization. Today, NCMEC performs the following 15 specific programs of work, funded in part by federal grants (34 U.S.C. § 11293):
1. Operate a national 24-hour toll-free hotline by which individuals may report information regarding the location of any missing child, and request information pertaining to procedures necessary to reunite such child with such child’s parent; and coordinate the operation of such hotline with the operation of the national communications system referred to in part C of the Runaway and Homeless Youth Act.
2. Operate the official national resource center and information clearinghouse for missing and exploited children.
3. Provide to State and local governments, public and private nonprofit agencies, State and local educational agencies, and individuals, information regarding—
o free or low-cost legal, food, lodging, and transportation services that are available for the benefit of missing and exploited children and their families;
o the existence and nature of programs being carried out by Federal agencies to assist missing and exploited children and their families; and
o innovative and model programs, services, and legislation that benefit missing and exploited children.
4. Coordinate public and private programs that locate, recover, or reunite missing children with their families.
5. Provide technical assistance and training to families, law enforcement agencies, State and local governments, elements of the criminal justice system, nongovernmental agencies, local educational agencies, and the general public—
o in the prevention, investigation, prosecution, and treatment of cases involving missing and exploited children;
o to respond to foster children missing from the State child welfare system in coordination with child welfare agencies and courts handling juvenile justice and dependency matters; and
o in the identification, location, and recovery of victims of, and children at risk for, child sex trafficking;
6. Provide assistance to families, law enforcement agencies, State and local governments, nongovernmental agencies, child-serving professionals, and other individuals involved in the location and recovery of missing and abducted children nationally and, in cooperation with the Department of State, internationally;
7. Provide support and technical assistance to child-serving professionals involved in helping to recover missing and exploited children by searching public records databases to help in the identification, location, and recovery of such children, and help in the location and identification of potential abductors and offenders;
8. Provide forensic and direct on-site technical assistance and consultation to families, law enforcement agencies, child-serving professionals, and nongovernmental organizations in child abduction and exploitation cases, including facial reconstruction of skeletal remains and similar techniques to assist in the identification of unidentified deceased children;
9. Provide training, technical assistance, and information to nongovernmental organizations relating to non-compliant sex offenders and to law enforcement agencies in identifying and locating such individuals;
10. Facilitate the deployment of the National Emergency Child Locator Center to assist in reuniting missing children with their families during periods of national disasters;
11. Work with families, law enforcement agencies, electronic service providers, electronic payment service providers, technology companies, nongovernmental organizations, and others on methods to reduce the existence and distribution of online images and videos of sexually exploited children—
o by operating a tipline to—
· provide to individuals and electronic service providers an effective means of reporting internet-related and other instances of child sexual exploitation in the areas of—
§ possession, manufacture, and distribution of child pornography;
§ online enticement of children for sexual acts;
§ child sex trafficking;
§ sex tourism involving children;
§ extra-familial child sexual molestation;
§ unsolicited obscene material sent to a child;
§ misleading domain names; and
§ misleading words or digital images on the internet; and
· make reports received through the tipline available to the appropriate law enforcement agency for its review and potential investigation;
o by operating a child victim identification program to assist law enforcement agencies in identifying victims of child pornography and other sexual crimes to support the recovery of children from sexually exploitative situations; and
o by utilizing emerging technologies to provide additional outreach and educational materials to parents and families.
12. Develop and disseminate programs and information to families, child-serving professionals, law enforcement agencies, State and local governments, nongovernmental organizations, schools, local educational agencies, child-serving organizations, and the general public on—
o the prevention of child abduction and sexual exploitation;
o internet safety, including tips for social media and cyberbullying; and
o sexting and sextortion;
13. Provide technical assistance and training to local educational agencies, schools, State and local law enforcement agencies, individuals, and other nongovernmental organizations that assist with finding missing and abducted children in identifying and recovering such children;
14. Assist the efforts of law enforcement agencies in coordinating with child welfare agencies to respond to foster children missing from the State welfare system; and
15. Provide technical assistance to law enforcement agencies and first responders in identifying, locating, and recovering victims of, and children at risk for, child sex trafficking.