WASHINGTON – Early Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee Chairman Aaron Bean (R-Fla.) and Congressman Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), a senior member of the Committee, introduced …
WASHINGTON – Early Early Childhood, Elementary and Secondary Education Subcommittee Chairman Aaron Bean (R-Fla.) and Congressman Joe Courtney (D-Conn.), a senior member of the Committee, introduced H.R. 5224, the Missing Children’s Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2023. This bipartisan legislation renews the Missing Children’s Assistance Act and makes critical updates to help the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children better support youth who are missing, reduce child sexual exploitation and prevent child victimization.
“As a father of three, I cannot imagine the pain of a missing or exploited child. Reauthorizing the MCAA gives hope and encouragement to loved ones during a time of immense heartbreak and uncertainty. Time is a critical factor in the search and recovery effort, and this bill will modernize the reporting system, so law enforcement can more efficiently find missing persons and bring closure to countless families to ensure the NCMEC can continue their critical mission to help find missing children, reduce child sexual exploitation, and prevent child victimization,” Bean said.
Bean represents Florida’s 4th District, which includes Clay County, in the U.S. House of Representatives.
The MCAA was enacted in 1984 to provide federal coordination of state and local efforts to recover and support missing and exploited children. It has been reauthorized and amended multiple times, most recently by the Missing Children’s Assistance Act of 2018.
The MCAA directs the Department of Justice’s Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention to establish a national resource center to carry out many of the objectives of the MCAA. NCMEC, a nonprofit organization headquartered in Alexandria, Virginia, has served as the national resource center since the enactment of the MCAA in 1984.
In 2022, NCMEC assisted law enforcement, families, and child welfare agencies with 27,644 cases of missing children and recovered the child in 88 percent of those cases.
Specifically, the Missing Children’s Assistance Reauthorization Act of 2023 improves NCMEC’s ability to:
• Assist law enforcement to identify, locate, and recover missing and exploited children;
• Develop educational materials to reduce the risk of child sex trafficking, online enticement, sexual extortion, and cyberbullying
• Provide education and technical assistance on conducting background checks on individuals working with children;
•Offer support services to missing and exploited children and their families;
• Facilitate requests to have child sexual abuse material removed from the internet.