Saskatchewan has officially proclaimed May 2019 as Missing Children’s Month, which coincides with Child Find Saskatchewan’s 28th annual Green Ribbon of Hope campaign.
“Every year, Saskatchewan children go missing and we see the devastating impact this has on their family, friends and community,” Social Services Minister Paul Merriman said. “Our government appreciates the ongoing commitment of our community partners, such as EGADZ and Child Find Saskatchewan, to reduce the number of children who go missing in our province.”
In March 2019, the province announced $125,000 for EGADZ to continue Operation Runaway and build on the successes they’ve had giving Saskatoon youth a voice to help reduce or eliminate the amount of times they run away. The development of a risk assessment tool at EGADZ’s My Homes has resulted in 276 fewer reports of missing youth between September 2018 and March 2019.
“Thanks to the commitment from the Government of Saskatchewan, we are able to continue tackling the complex issue of runaways in Saskatoon,” EGADZ Executive Director Don Meikle said. “Operation Runaway uses a community response with the expertise of the youth we serve to provide support and alternatives that bring our youth home.”
EGADZ’s Operation Runaway in Saskatoon is an innovative, non-traditional, interagency team with members from Mental Health and Addiction Services, Ministry of Social Services, Saskatoon Police Services and other EGADZ programs. They focus on the root causes of running and use positive supports to encourage changes in behaviour. Their staff work to build strong relationships with these youth, so they have someone to turn in times of need and to help address the issues they are facing.
Child Find Saskatchewan educates and advocates for the rights and protection of children and youth, and assists law enforcement agencies and other partners to locate missing children. They are a member of the Provincial Partnership Committee on Missing Persons and work with like-minded organizations to recognize and promote the issues surrounding missing children and youth.
“Over the last 35 years, Child Find has developed preventative and educational programs which are delivered throughout the province with the goal of helping to keep children and youth safe,” Child Find Saskatchewan President Phyllis Hallatt said. “Our Green Ribbon serves as a symbol of hope that missing children will return home safely.”
Green ribbons are available in communities across Saskatchewan. To find the location nearest you, please contact Child Find Saskatchewan at 306-955-0070. Proceeds generated by the campaign support Child Find Saskatchewan to continue their mandate of assisting in the search for missing children and the education of children and adults about abduction.
On May 8, during Missing Persons Week, Child Find is hosting an event at the Broadway Theatre in Saskatoon featuring Youth Advocate, Marnie Grundman. Marnie has first-hand insight of what is like to be that missing child, that child that belongs to no one.
For more information about Child Find Saskatchewan and upcoming events, please visit www.childfind.sk.ca.
Released on May 1, 2019 by The Government of Saskatchewan