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Center offers free help on site to stop abductions
If you're serious about assessing security and taking the right steps to thwart infant abductions, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in Alexandria, VA, offers direct assistance.
Since 1987, NCMEC has provided on-site security assessments to 940 hospitals and birthing centers throughout the United States and conducts nationally accredited training on infant security for health care professionals including nursing and security staff. The on-site assessment is completely free; even the visitor's travel costs are paid for by government grants and corporate donations.
To date, 61,000 health care personnel have been trained. The training is sponsored by Mead-Johnson Nutritionals in cooperation with the Association of Women's Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN); the National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN); and International Association for Healthcare Security and Safety (IAHSS).
An on-site survey consists of the speaker, accompanied by appropriate management staff — such as the risk manager, nurse managers, and security directors — walking through different departments/locations of the hospital where infants may become victims of abduction. These areas usually are maternity, labor and delivery, nurseries, pediatrics, clinics, and in-house day-care centers. They make observations as to the state of the facility's access control, camera coverage, signage, etc. in reference to the NCMEC guidelines for protecting infants.
The on-site survey is considered confidential to the staff of that health care facility, and media are not allowed to accompany. The NCMEC representative does not provide written documentation to the facility, so the management staff accompanying him during this visit must take their own detailed notes. This procedure prevents as much as possible any vicarious liability for all parties.
In 2005, the eighth edition of "For Healthcare Professionals: Guidelines on Prevention of and Response to Infant Abductions" was released. (The first copy is free for individuals. The first 10 copies are free for facilities. Each additional copy is $3.) For more information on these products and services, go to the NCMEC web site at www.ncmec.org. On the home page, click on "Infant abduction prevention and resources."