Hours after Washington D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser tweeted a link to an article entitled “DC’s Missing Teens: What’s True and What’s Not,” she announced that D.C. is devoting more resources to combat the reported epidemic of missing children in the city.
That support is expected to come in the form of police officers assigned to find missing children and establishing a task force to determine what social services teenagers who run away are looking for.
The latter part of that plan will also include increased funding for nonprofits that address teens at risk of running away.
“Often times, these girls are repeat runaways,” mayoral spokemsan Kevin Harris said. “So, if we really want to help solve this problem and bring down the numbers, we have to break the cycle of young people, especially young girls, who repeatedly run away from home.”
Bowser’s action comes in response to increasing calls by celebrities and politicians to address the trend of black and Hispanic girls going missing.
Bowser’s press release specifically cites local and national media attention as inspiration for the measures. Part of the problem is that misinformation has already been spread on the topic. The key to addressing this issue is good, timely information.
“One missing young person, is one too many, and these new initiatives will help us do more to find and protect young people, particularly young girls of color, across our city,” said Mayor Bowser. “Through social media, we have been able to highlight this problem and bring awareness to open cases, and now we are doing more to ensure that families and children are receiving the wraparound services they need to keep families together and children safe.”