The mission of Ontario’s Missing Adults is two-fold:
- To act as an identifiable resource to families of missing adults, providing information and referrals to appropriate agencies or services; and
- To increase awareness of long-term missing and unidentified adults in order to enhance the possibility of locating the missing or identifying deceased persons.
Regardless of the reasons for going missing, the subject of each case deserves to be treated with respect, without judgement based on race, colour, age, sexual orientation, gender identification, socioeconomic status, lifestyle or circumstances. Our task is to help locate the missing, not to judge them. Each missing person is valued and loved by those left behind.
Those who remain unidentified in death deserve to be afforded every effort to be identified. Behind these people, there are loved ones who are likely searching. Remaining unidentified is not proof that ‘no one cares’ or that no one is missing her/him. It speaks to the difficulty of the task, while success speaks to the possibilities for answers.
Families of the missing should also be treated with compassion, dignity and respect. While locating the missing are typically the domain of police, families of the missing deserve to have access to victim-centred services that enable them to feel empowered and to foster resilience both during and after the search. When individuals reach out for assistance, our goal is to provide information resources or referrals that are aligned with their specific needs and requirements. This becomes particularly important in cases involving ‘long-term’ missing where answers may not be found for years.