VIP Find Me is a program designed to gently and safely approach and/or find children and dependent young adult with special needs. It is a voluntary way for parent to provide information on their children to first responders.
While all children may wander or be abducted, children with special needs are especially at risk. Many of these children are unable to ask for help or express their needs due to their poor communication skills. Some of them may not be capable of understanding individuals like police officers, fire fighters and others who are there to help them. They may become fearful of first responders and either run away or try to fight them. In other instances, special needs children and young adults, who appear perfectly typical, may come across as rude or obstinate in unfamiliar situations. If misinterpreted by police, these behaviors may cause a minor incident to develop into a major situation.
VIP FIND ME is designed to be effective and simple:· Parents or guardians fill out the registration form and attach two photographs of the child or young adult. The registration form includes sections for guardians to address the individual’s diagnosis, communication skills, fears, and how to approach them.· The original photographs and information on the child will be kept in a file specifically for special needs children and young adults at the local police station for reference when needed· Abbreviated information forms are provided to guardians to be used in their homes and in their wallets.· VIP identification stickers are distributed for display in home windows and automobiles.· Fingerprint kits are provided.
Our goal is to provide awareness to first responders and to prevent unfortunate circumstances from developing. We hope that by setting up an easy way for parents to provide their children’s information, communication will be enhanced on both sides.