Prevention tools

Take steps to ensure the safety of your loved one with these prevention tools.

Not all missing person cases can be prevented, however, there are some strategies you can use to help minimise the risk of going missing, or having a loved one go missing.

Preventative action can be taken at all levels within our community - by families, friends, agencies, government policy-makers, media, and missing people themselves.

The key to prevention is enhancing individual resilience and resourcefulness, strengthening family and community networks, and using existing tools to stay connected and be safe.

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Child Protection Apps

The Australian Police Child ID App:

The Australian Police Child ID App is a free smartphone application. It is designed to help parents quickly provide personal identification information to police in the event that any of their children go missing.

The Australian Police Child ID App was adapted from the United States Federal Bureau of Investigation's (FBI) Child ID App. Through this collaborative effort we have created a tool that will help parents and guardians collect and send important information about their child/children to authorities in the event of a disappearance or abduction.

The app allows families to store photographs and vital information about their children on their mobile phone. Information can be password protected so that only authorised users will have access. In the devastating event that a child goes missing, this information can be immediately forwarded to authorities via email, assisting them to expedite their search.

The application also includes safety advice and checklists for parents on keeping children safe, information about what to do in the hours immediately after a child goes missing and provides quick and efficient access to emergency contact phone numbers.

This free application is available for Android and iPhone users. Download it from:

Android app on Google Play

AFP National Missing Persons Coordination Centre

View the Police Child ID App Brochure (PDF 653 KB)


Daniel Morcombe Foundation 'Help Me' App:

The ‘Help Me’ App is to assist people of all ages in emergency situations. The main feature, the ‘Help Me’ button sounds a warning and allows the user to send an SMS text to two nominated ‘safety’ numbers, as part of your trusted Safety Network. Included in the texts are the GPS coordinates from where the text was sent so the sender can be located, or a last known place of contact is known.

The app also includes a quick reference guide to assistance numbers in an emergency.


Carly Ryan Foundation 'THREAD' App:

'THREAD' is a personal safety app for children (aged from 8 years) that combines the benefits of contemporary technology with clever design and personal devices. THREAD provides an immediate connection between a user’s location, trusted contacts and emergency services.

The main functions of ‘THREAD’ are:

  • Users can check-in to preset deadlines, or simply send an update on the fly, promoting communication without enforcing prohibitive rules.
  • Should a preset check-in time be set and missed, the users last known location is sent to their nominated contacts.
  • At Thread’s core is a personal safety alarm. When activated, the alarm sends the users location to their trusted contacts, launches the phone and dials 000.
  • The Alert function can be activated from the PIN screen. 000 can be dialled in as little as three taps on an unlocked phone.

Overseas Travel

When travelling overseas there are a few things you can do to help prevent yourself from being reported missing, or make it easier to find you should anything happen.

  • Register your travel and contact details with
  • Leave a copy of your travel plans with family or friends, and let them know if it changes. Include passport, tickets, destinations and contact numbers. You may also want to provide details of fellow travelling companions.
  • When informing the bank of your overseas travel, consider giving a nominated person access to your account information. In the event that you are uncontactable bank details can provide a record of possible actions.
  • Arrange options for staying in touch with family and friends while overseas (mobile phone, prepaid or postpaid international calling card, SMS, social media, email etc.)
  • Give your family and friends an indication of how often they will hear from you, and stick to your word.
  • Be conscious of your own safety and security while travelling. Review the travel advice on the Smart Traveller website prior to your trip and subscribe to travel advice updates for the countries you are visiting to keep you informed of any changes leading up to and during your travel.

The Smart Traveller website operated by the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has more information about overseas travel precautions and safety tips.

Safely Home Program

Alzheimers Australia runs the Safely Home Program across Australia.  In its current form, each State program can differ, the aim of the program is to support people living with dementia by providing rapid and accurate identification if they get lost.

The program is just one way to enable people living with dementia to remain living at home for longer, and provide peace of mind to family members that if their loved one does wander off, or go missing, there is a mechanism in place to help find and identify them.

In all states, the Safely Home Initiative is delivered in partnership between Alzheimer's Australia and Police and comes in several different forms i.e. medical alert bracelets and GPS devices in watches and shoes etc. These mechanisms give police the ability to quickly locate the missing person, as well as the contact details for the carer of the patients.

Carers can also use safe return programs to instigate a search for the person with dementia by contacting their local police station and filing a missing persons report. The police initiate a search using information on the database.

If you care for a person living with dementia that may be at risk of wandering or going missing, consider whether registration in a safe return program, an ID bracelet, or other means of identification may be suited to your situation.

Please contact Alzheimer's Australia in your state through the National Dementia Helpline on 1800 100 500 to find out more about the Safely Home Initiative in your area.


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