New Child Focus app recruits public help with missing children
Share article:
Share article:

New Child Focus app recruits public help with missing children

© Belga

Child Focus, the charity for missing children, has launched a new app to send push messages to users whenever a child goes missing in their area.

Child Focus, started some 25 years ago in the wake of the serial killer Marc Dutroux affair, had always worked with posters in public places like trams and buses, as well as donated advertising space in publications and, latterly, online.

Now though is the era of smartphones, apps and push messages – a service you sign up for that sends you messages under conditions you agreed to.

The app, named Child Rescue Community, can be downloaded free from the App Store or Google Play. Registration asks only for permission to note your location and send push messages, as well as name and email address. Home address, phone number and date of birth are optional.

The app is part of “an EU funded project that aspires to effectively reduce the primary period between the moment a child is reported missing and when it is found,” the listing says.

Child Rescue Community offers real time notifications for amber alerts that are active near your current location and provides a secure communication channel with the responsible organizations where you can provide your feedback for a missing case and help them reunite missing children with their loved ones.”

As well as receiving information about missing children, the app also allows the user to send messages to Child Focus.

The charity deals with reports of around 2,000 missing children and young people a year – more than three a day. In 95% of cases the child returns safely, but every case is taken seriously from the start – even in the case of repeat runaways.

Every minute is important in the event of a disappearance,” said Heidi De Pauw, director of Child Focus.

The sooner we have information, the more likely it is we will find the child. This app is therefore a very important step.”

Alan Hope
The Brussels Times

Latest news

STIB launches free transport for Museum Night Fever this weekend
STIB busses will run between Brussels museums for free on Saturday night as part of the Museum Night Fever celebrations taking over the capital.  ...
Heirs of Michael Jackson demand that Belgian radio show ‘King of Pop’ changes name
The heirs of American pop singer Michael Jackson have demanded that a Belgian radio programme, called "King of Pop" changes its name, their lawyers ...
More than one billion coronavirus vaccines exported by EU
The European Union (EU) has exported more than one billion coronavirus vaccines globally over the past ten months, of which just under one-tenth was ...
SNCB brings free little libraries to stations
The Belgian railway company SNCB is adding free little libraries to its stations. The “book boxes,” as they’re called, allow passengers to grab a ...
Belgium in Brief: What Is Bouncing Back?
What do you think of when you think of a country "bouncing back" after a crisis?  Cambridge Dictionary says it is "to start to be successful again ...
Café patron stabs manager after being asked to see proof of vaccination
A customer stabbed a café manager in Brussels on Saturday after being asked to show his Covid Safe Ticket (CST), according to Bruzz. Asking to see ...
Belgium to simplify administrative processes with ‘digital wallet’
The federal government wants to create an online "wallet" for all people living in Belgium which would bundle all official documents, from visas to ...
‘Start of infection wave’: Flanders to turn red on European map again
Flanders will turn red on the map of the European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control (ECDC) again this week, as the daily average of new ...
Staff strike at application centre for asylum seekers
The staff of an application centre for asylum seekers in Brussels began a 24-strike on Monday morning, meaning that no one can apply for asylum there ...
Bpost plans to merge parcel and letter services in Belgium
The new CEO of Bpost – Belgium's primary mail delivery company and one of the country's largest civilian employers – has decided to merge the ...
Belgian playground bullying drama wins at London Film Festival
Playground (original title 'Un Monde'), the first feature film by Belgian director Laura Wandel, was awarded the top prize in the First Feature ...
Will Brussels bounce back?
The lockdowns have tested the city and forced it to confront key questions about its future. Derek Blyth looks back at an extraordinary moment in our ...