Photo shows President Bill Clinton meeting in the Oval Office with "Family Survival Guide" parent-author Patty Wetterling after passage of Megan's Law in 1996.
President Bill Clinton meets with Family Survival Guide parent-author Patty Wetterling following passage of Megan’s Law in 1996.


Patty Wetterling championed passage of the Jacob Wetterling Crimes Against Children and Sexually Violent Offender Registration Act, the first U.S. law to mandate that each state maintain a sex offender registry.


Patty Wetterling helped accomplish:
• President Bill Clinton’s executive memorandum requiring federal agencies to receive and post missing children’s fliers in their buildings.
• The passage of Megan’s Law—which amended the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994. It requires sex offender registration and public access to the offender’s name, picture, address, incarceration date, and conviction.

"Family Survival Guide" parent-author Ahmad Rivazfar, right, with Ed Smart (father of kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart) during their annual cross-country bike rides to raise awareness about missing children.
Family Survival Guide parent-author Ahmad Rivazfar, left, with Ed Smart (father of kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart) in 2010.


Ahmad Rivazfar and Ed Smart (father of kidnapping survivor Elizabeth Smart) lobbied for passage of the PROTECT Our Children Act (aka the Providing Resources, Officers, and Technology to Eradicate Cyber Threats to Our Children Act).


Ahmad Rivazfar and Ed Smart embark on the first of many annual cross-country bike rides (from Rochester, New York, to Los Angeles—about 3,500 miles) to raise awareness about keeping children safe.

Nacole Svendgard, top left, with fellow parent-author Yvonne Ambrose, top right, during a Family Survival Guide filming session.


Nacole Svendgard and Yvonne Ambrose helped champion two bills into law: The FOSTA (Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act) and SESTA (Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act), which make it illegal to knowingly assist, facilitate, or support sex trafficking, and amend the Section 230 safe harbors of the Communications Decency Act (which makes online services immune from civil liability for the actions of their users) to exclude enforcement of federal or state sex trafficking laws from its immunity. The effort led to the shuttering of, which generated millions of dollars annually through advertisements of innocent women and children forced or coerced into sex trafficking—including Yvonne’s late daughter Desiree and Nacole’s daughter, Jessika.


Backed by the Morgan Nick Foundation, Arkansas became the first state in the nation to achieve multi-agency certification for its Child Abduction Response Teams (CARTs). The certification recognizes that Arkansas’ CARTs were developed according to standards set by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) after they completed numerous training sessions. The teams consist of school personnel, victim advocates, and emergency management personnel, among others.


After the death of her son, Dylan, Elaine Hall joined forces with the mother of another murdered child to make tampering with a dead body a more severe crime. After lobbying and publicly addressing Colorado politicians, Elaine and Laura Saxton succeeded in elevating the offense from a misdemeanor to a Class 3 felony. (The charge is usually added to a more serious crime, such as murder, and carries a sentence of up to 12 years in prison.) The new law was first used in the case of Chris Watts, who pleaded guilty in 2018 to killing his pregnant wife and two young daughters.

Photo shows "Family Survival Guide" parent-authors Jeffery Morehouse, left, and Dr. Noelle Hunter outside the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, D.C.
Parent-authors Jeffery Morehouse, left, and Dr. Noelle Hunter enter the U.S. Department of Justice for the 2023 National Missing Children’s Day event.


A day before the National Missing Children’s Day event (May 23, 2023) at the U.S. Department of Justice, Dr. Noelle Hunter and Jeffery Morehouse spoke before the U.S. House Foreign Affairs subcommittee hearing “Bring Abducted Children Home,” which was televised on C-SPAN. “We called for greater transparency in understanding why cases are closed without the victims being located or returned, and prescriptive responses in using existing laws and tools,” Jeffery said. Both have testified numerous times individually and jointly on international parental child abduction (IPCA) cases, advocating for improvements in federal and state legislation. “There’s been a groundswell of advocacy and awareness regarding children and families who are the victims of IPCA,” Noelle said. “Parents are standing together to hold leaders accountable.”

— Denise Gee Peacock