National Child Identification Program

Child ID Program in Kentucky
National Child ID Program

Why should we fingerprint our children?

  • 450,000 children run away each year
  • 300,000 children are abducted each year by family members
  • More than 58,000 children are abducted every year by non-family members

That’s more than 800,000 children in America missing each year – one child every 40 seconds. Yet, when the National Child Identification Program began; less than two percent of parents had a copy of their child’s fingerprints to use in case of an emergency.

The National Child Identification Program is a community service initiative dedicated to changing these statistics by providing parents and guardians with a tool they can use to help protect their children. The ID Kit allows parents to collect specific information by easily recording the physical characteristics and fingerprints of their children on identification cards that are then kept at home by the parent or guardian. If ever needed, this ID Kit will give authorities vital information to assist their efforts to locate a missing child.

Recognized by Congress

The National Child Identification Program and the AFCA were recognized by Congress in 2001 with the unanimous passage of House Congressional Resolution 100, which commended the AFCA for its dedication and efforts in protecting children by providing a vital means for locating the nation’s missing, abducted and runaway children.

Prevention Tips

Prevention always starts at home. Use the following tips to help educate children on safety and awareness.

Children Should Be Taught to:

  • Know his/her full name, as well as your name, address and telephone number, including area code. Children should know how to use the telephone.
  • Never say they’re alone when answering the phone – instead, offer to take a message or say their parents will be back shortly.
  • Never answer the door if they are alone. Never invite anyone in the house w/out permission of a parent or baby-sitter.
  • Never take candy or gifts from strangers or anyone else without asking a parent first.
  • Never play in deserted buildings or isolated areas.
  • Move away from cars that pull up beside them if they do not know the driver.
  • Know that no one should touch any part of his or her body that bathing suit would cover.
  • Avoid shortcuts through empty parks, fields, laneways or alleys.
  • Run home or go to the nearest public place if they are being followed and yell for help.
  • Tell you if someone has asked them to keep a secret from you.
  • Tell you where they are at all times or leave a message at home.Give up money, jewelry or clothing rather than fight.
  • Know they can talk to you and call you to pick them up at any time.


  • Avoid clothing and toys with your child’s name on it. A child is less likely to fear someone who knows his/her name.
  • Check all potential baby-sitters and older friends of your child.Never leave your child alone in a public place, stroller or car, even for a minute.
  • Always accompany young children to the bathroom in public places.
  • Always accompany your child on door-to-door activities.
  • Point out safe houses with the Block Parent sign where children can go if they are in trouble.
  • Create an environment where a child feels safe to talk to you. Let him/her know that you are interested and sensitive to their fears.
  • Teach children that the police are their friends and that they can rely on them if they are in trouble.
  • Keep an up-to-date color photograph of your child, as well as a medical and dental history, and have your child fingerprinted.
  • Stay involved in your child’s life by communicating daily to prevent your child from running away.

Law Enforcement

Many in law enforcement agencies across America have been involved in various types of child fingerprinting programs. Despite their best efforts, they have never fingerprinted more than a fraction of the children in their area because traditional centralized fingerprinting programs require tremendous manpower to take prints and clean up the messy black ink.

The American Football Coaches Association’s National Child Identification Program in partnership with the FBI has created an inkless fingerprinting identification kit. The unique design of the National Child Identification Program’s ID Kit makes it ideal for distribution by law enforcement. Police officers or other volunteers can hand the ID Kit to a parent or guardian for “at home” fingerprinting. The parent or guardian fingerprints his or her own child and keeps the identification card at home, decentralizing the process for law enforcement. Likewise, prevention information, such as anti-drug or anti-gang-related messages, can easily be distributed with the ID Kit.

The FBI recognizes the Child ID Program as its preferred method of child identification and encourages active participation in the program by the over 18,000 law enforcement agencies across the US. Law enforcement agencies play an important role in helping to fund the distribution of ID Kits in communities across the country ultimately helping us to reach our goal of protecting the Nation’s 60 million children.

Law Enforcement agencies are able to participate in the National Child ID Program by using existing prevention budgets; you may expand your efforts with sponsorships through local businesses and civic groups. The AFCA and the Child ID Program had enlisted the support of various associations to help in this grassroots effort.

FBI – Child ID App

The FBI’s Child ID App.

Putting Safety in Your Hands.

You’re shopping at the mall with your children when one of them suddenly disappears. A quick search of the nearby area is unsuccessful. What do you do? 

Now there’s a free new tool from the FBI that can help. Our just launched Child ID app—the first mobile application created by the FBI—provides a convenient place to electronically store photos and vital information about your children so that it’s literally right at hand if you need it. You can show the pictures and provide physical identifiers such as height and weight to security or police officers on the spot. Using a special tab on the app, you can also quickly and easily e-mail the information to authorities with a few clicks. 

The app also includes tips on keeping children safe as well as specific guidance on what to do in those first few crucial hours after a child goes missing.

We encourage you to share the word about this app with family and friends, especially during upcoming activities in your communities to raise awareness on crime and drug prevention. For its part, the FBI is working to publicize the app with the American Football Coaches Association (AFCA)—its long-time partner in the National Child Identification Program, which provides a physical kit to gather your child’s pictures, fingerprints, personal characteristics, and even DNA to keep with you in case of emergency. The AFCA is producing a public service announcement about the app and will spread the word at various football games during the upcoming season. 

Right now, the Child ID app is only available for use on iPhones and can only be downloaded for free from the App Store on iTunes, but we plan to expand this tool to other types of mobile devices in the near future. And we’ll be adding new features—including the ability to upload other photos stored on your smart phone—in the coming weeks and months.

An important note: the FBI (and iTunes for that matter) is not collecting or storing any photos or information that you enter in the app. All data resides solely on your mobile device unless you need to send it to authorities. Please read your mobile provider’s terms of service for information about the security of applications stored on your device. 

Put your child’s safety in your own hands. Download the FBI’s Child ID app today. 


Click below to download the app from this Link.


Entities For Law Enforcement to Approach in a Partnership Effort

  • Rotary Clubs
  • Chamber of Commerce
  • Any local business
  • Faith based organizations
  • Local Credit Unions

Please join the effort to help protect America’s Children through your participation in the National Child Identification Program. If just one missing child can be located through the use of the ID Kit, we will have succeeded.


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