AG Raoul offering child ID kits to Illinois families

Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is working with the National Child Identification Program...
Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul is working with the National Child Identification Program to distribute 175,000 child ID kits to kindergartners.(Mike Miletich)
Published: Dec. 16, 2021 at 6:00 PM CST
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) - The Illinois Attorney General’s office wants to make sure parents have the resources they need if their child goes missing. Kwame Raoul is working with the National Child Identification Program to get 175,000 child ID kits to families across the state.

You may remember getting your fingerprints done as a kid so your families could keep them in a safe place. The Attorney General wants every family to have this opportunity to be prepared.

Raoul’s office will work with law enforcement and school officials to get the kits to families. He says parents with kindergarteners in public and private schools can expect to receive an ID kit during the spring semester.

Raoul also hopes to see this program expand to include older students during the 2022 school year.

Illinois State Police say families can easily record their child’s fingerprints and other identifying information. Although, they stress that information will stay private.

“All of this is stored in an envelope in a safe place at home in the event law enforcement need vital information to locate a missing child,” Raoul said. “We are providing these kits hoping that families never need them.”

The National Child Identification Program has distributed more than 70 million identification kits since 1997. Exelon, MidAmerican Energy, Johnsons & Johnson, and the IBEW donated to the effort for the 175,000 free kits.

You might not know that the American Football Coaches Association created the National Child Identification program 24 years ago.

Former Chicago Bear Mike Singletary says there is nothing more important than keeping children safe. Singletary explained the first three hours are critical for police to help families find their missing child.

“You’re not sitting there wasting time, but you’re able to give them your kid’s ID kit and allow them to go to work and find your kid,” Singletary said.

Raoul hopes parents will take advantage of this opportunity to help their children.

Shantinel Howard’s daughter, Jerica, went missing while on a walk alone on August 16, 2015. Her family hasn’t seen or heard from Jerica since that day.

Howard stood alongside Raoul and other leaders Thursday to explain the importance of the ID kits.

“Now I volunteer with several organizations to help find missing children as well,” Howard said. “I like the idea that you’re able to fingerprint your child in case such a tragic event were to occur such as mine.”

The Attorney General’s office also highlighted a new website with information for children to understand the possible dangers of online gaming and social media. Raoul says that site can also help teachers and parents know the signs of grooming or online bullying.

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