Runaway Prevention

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Updated: 1/15/2013 10:50 pm

        You might have heard about the three missing girls in Southeast Idaho. Between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away every year. Summer Joy sat down with the Pocatello Police Department and Center Counseling to help give parents an idea on what to look for and how to prevent it.

        Jennifer Miller, Keziah Ullery, and Angelea  Shultz have all gone missing recently. Thier Parents and family members are not sure where they are and the police are continuing to investigate. The number one family aspect that Martin Calder, a Behavioral Therapist, recommends is to be involved with your kids.

        Know their friends, their friend’s parents and know how to get a hold of them. Try and know whats going with them at school, and on their facebook page.

        “If suddenly things become secreative, if they are putting away their stuff when you come in or if you don’t know who their friends are or who they have been hanging out with; and typically you did. Those are the first big signs, and then also if thtey are starting to charge their behavior besides the secreative stuff, if they have been a pretty good student, have pretty good friends and suddenly now theirgrades are droping and their hanging with a different group of people,” said Behavioral Therapist, Martin Calder.

        The second key to remember is to keep the lines of communication open. At the Center Counseling, parents can receive a range of benefits from parenting tips, emotional needs, and to help give their child someone they can talk to and trust.

        If you think your child might have gone missing, Captain Steve Stone recommends calling family or friends first to try and find them, if you believe your child has run away or is actual missing he says don’t hesitate to call.

        He encourages parents to try and be observant, know what
your child is doing that day and what they are wearing.

“The vast of majorities of runaways are found, sometimes it takes some time. Them ore detail information that you can give us, the more you know about what their habbits are and where they might go, the more quickly we can be able to find them,” said Captain Steve Stone.  

        Dr. Calder encourages parents to try and not be too tough on
yourself, he says, remember kids need structure and you can still have a great
relationship with them, without being their buddy.   

        There is also some free parenting classes offered at the Health and Welfare Department and you can always call the Center Counseling in Pocatello for a consultation. If you have any information on any missing person
please contact your local law enforcement agency.

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