2003 VOLUNTEER TRAINING
Team HOPE is a program of the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children's Family Advocacy Division. Team HOPE volunteers are mothers, fathers, siblings and extended family members, who have had (or still have) a cherished missing child or a child who has been sexually exploited. We are ordinary people who one day were forced to live this nightmare. We know the pain, the fear, the frustration and the aloneness of having a missing or exploited child. We are courageous, determined, intelligent and empathetic. We have demonstrated the ability to turn our personal tragedies into vital lifelines of support for other families.
Having a missing or sexually exploited child is one of a parent's worst nightmares. The trauma of having a missing or sexually exploited child demands courage and determination on the part of parents and other family members. Through Team HOPE, the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children® (NCMEC) seeks to provide peer support to families impacted by a missing child or child sexual exploitation.
Established in 1998, Team HOPE matches families with experienced and trained volunteers — parents, grandparents, siblings and other family members with children who have been sexually exploited and/or those who had, or still have, a missing child. Our volunteers speak from first-hand experience as they offer emotional support, compassion, guidance, empowerment, and assistance. Our volunteers are people who one day were forced to live a nightmare. We have known the pain, fear, frustration, and feeling that no one understands the depth of the situation.
Team Hope volunteer candidates are nominated by active Team HOPE volunteers, NCMEC, State/Territorial Missing Child Clearinghouses, nonprofit organizations working with missing and sexually exploited children issues, and law enforcement officials. Team HOPE volunteers have demonstrated the ability to turn their personal tragedies into vital lifelines of support for other families. Team HOPE volunteers are screened and trained prior to providing support to families. Currently Team HOPE consists of more than 300 volunteers nationwide whose children have been victims of nonfamily abduction, family abduction, international abduction, runaway episodes, online enticement, child pornography, and other types of child sexual exploitation. Through June 2010 more than 45,000 families have been referred to Team HOPE for support. We
- Provide much-needed hope
- Inspire courage and determination in parents and other family members
- Help families in crisis handle the day-to-day issues of searching, coping, and healing
- Help families understand the process and role of law enforcement
- Help alleviate isolation in facing their fears and frustrations
- Provide compassion, encouragement, empowerment, and emotional support drawing from our training and personal experiences
Team HOPE is a nonprofit, volunteer-based program of
the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children.
If you have a missing or sexually exploited child and need assistance,
if you know a family that might benefit from Team HOPE,
or if you would like to use your personal experience to help others
please contact us
Toll free at 1-866-305-4673
times are tough, it's easy to shut out the rest of the
world. And sometimes it is necessary to turn inward, feeling
the depth and breadth of our sorrow so that our wounds
can heal. But, ultimately, we need to come back out into
the light, scars and all, and allow our suffering to make
us more compassionate toward others. Precisely because
we have known pain of those around us; we can offer the
example of our own journey to healing as encouragement
for those still taking the first steps. In so doing, we
not only inspire fellow sufferers, we make sense of our
own pain. Rather than close off our hearts and sink into
despair, we can let hardship hone us into a vessel overflowing
with wisdom and compassion. And there's no doubt that the
world could use more of that!
2002 VOLUNTEER TRAINING
2002 VOLUNTEER TRAINING