(The Center Square) – To help locate missing children, Illinois will be handing out child ID kits around the state.
Attorney General Kwame Raoul announced a partnership with the National Child Identification Program to provide child ID kits which allow parents to collect specific information by recording the physical characteristics, fingerprints and DNA of the child on cards.
“My office is committed to giving parents access to resources to keep their children safe by offering training and encouraging involvement in children and teens’ online activity and awareness of who their children are interacting with virtually, because even though a child is at home, parents may not know who they are really interacting with virtually,” Raoul said.
As part of the pilot program, the state will work with law enforcement and school districts to distribute free child ID kits to approximately 175,000 public and private school kindergartners around Illinois. If successful, the program could be expanded to include older students during the school year starting in 2022.
The NCIDP worked with sponsors, such as Exelon, the IBEW, MidAmerican Energy and Johnson & Johnson to ensure the kits would be provided at no cost.
“In Illinois, there are just so many things happening in the wrong direction, and I think that being able to have this is something so positive,” said former Chicago Bears linebacker and NFL coach Mike Singletary.
The program was created in 1997 by the American Football Coaches Association after Amber Hagerman (Amber Alert) was abducted in 1996. In the program’s first two years, nearly 7 million ID kits were distributed through stadiums, churches and community events. More than 70 million kits have been distributed nationwide.