As time passes, the search effort may become completely community-driven. In order to sustain community involvement, it will be necessary to re-organize and restructure the Community Response Plan. Roles and responsibilities will need to be redefined in order to maintain volunteers and to avoid volunteer burn out.

While the intense volunteer effort that usually occurs in the early part of the investigation of a missing child may not be sustainable, it is important that the Community Response Plan Team stays together and motivated. Setting new goals for the Community Response Plan initiatives may be necessary in order for volunteers to be able to manage their own day-to-day responsibilities and still be able to stay involved. Though efforts may not be as intense, it is important to ensure that the new restructured plan still involves all the key areas of the original Community Response Plan.

Collaborating with a reputable missing children services organization will assist you in the long-term coordination of your Community Response Plan.

  Short-Term Missing Long-Term Missing
Primary Contact
  • Responsible for the intense daily activities of the Community Response Plan, such as giving daily briefings, coordinating the core team members, liaising with police, etc.
  • Setting up and coordinating new timelines for meetings and briefings (Asking what is manageable - weekly or monthly meetings?).
  • Making sure that the Community Response Plan Team has regular and expected actionable goals to achieve.
Family Liaison
  • Responsible for liaising between the Community Response Plan Team and the searching family.
  • Communicating with the Primary Contact on a daily basis.
  • Coordinating the day-to-day needs of the searching family.
  • Connecting with the searching family occasionally (weekly/monthly) to provide and receive updates.
  • Providing support to the searching family while allowing them some privacy and independence.
Search Operations Coordinator
  • Organizing Community Response Plan Team volunteers for police-driven search operations.
  • Using traditional search methods to help locate the missing child.
  • Organizing community-driven searches that are police supported (remember police should be made aware of all new search initiatives and all information must be forwarded to them immediately).
  • Now able to use new search methods - using creativity and new technologies.
Administrative Coordinator / Historian
  • Ensuring that volunteers are registered properly, that posters are printed and that all Community Response Plan documents are safely stored and secured.
  • Greater focus on maintaining and securing the search records.
  • Continuing to diligently record any new information as well as meeting minutes and the goings on of the Community Response Plan Team (this is important because details that seem irrelevant at the time can become crucial information).
  • The Administrative Coordinator will maintain the master list of volunteers and will try to rotate volunteer schedules to help them avoid burnout.
Public Awareness Coordinator
  • Initially, public awareness activities are to be police-directed and overseen.
  • At first, raising public awareness must capitalize on the urgency of the situation and the media interest.
  • Keep media and the public up-to-date about new information with regard to the case on a regular basis.
  • Over time, public awareness activities become more community-driven.
  • Continuing to look for opportunities to engage the media (such as on the missing child's birthday, anniversaries of the disappearance, special family occasions, Christmas, etc.) and bring the public's attention back.
  • Using new technologies to raise the public's awareness with creativity and less restriction.
Resources Coordinator
  • Looking after donations that go towards short-term expenses and resources that need to be allocated immediately.
  • Coordinating donations in trusts for longer-term goals.
  • Organizing donations to fund the longer-term Community Response Plan (for example, public awareness may now begin to cost you money).