Missing Children Society of Canada

Missing Children Society of Canada

October 20, 2008 18:55 ET

Barb Snider Celebrates 25 Years Reunifying Missing Children With Their Families

CALGARY, ALBERTA--(Marketwire - Oct. 20, 2008) - A father recounts the disappearance of his teenage daughter. He struggles to hold his emotions steady and his sunken eyes brim with tears. To look at him you know he's reached a breaking point, that he's not only looking for help to find his daughter, he's looking for someone to help him hold it together. It's a heartrending scene few of us ever encounter.

But it's a scene Barbara Snider, a veteran caseworker in incidents of child abduction, has witnessed over and over again since 1983 when she co-founded Child Find Ontario, one of the first non-profit organizations dedicated to missing children in Canada.

2008 marks her 25th anniversary in the field, and after two and a-half decades, Barbara has worked longer in the field than any of her peers and is considered one of Canada's pioneers in the search for missing children.

Barbara, now international case manager with the Missing Children Society of Canada, has assisted searching fathers, mothers, grandparents, police officers, lawyers, customs and border service personnel and immigration officials in hundreds of cases of missing children.

She is the only caseworker in the field specializing in child recovery and reunification as well as cases of international child abduction.

Her knowledge and expertise in these areas have earned Barb the respect of her peers. This is evident in the many invitations she receives each year to speak at national and international conferences, trainings, workshops and seminars concerning child abduction. She regularly participates in research studies related to the issue.

Barb is demure about her life's work, but spend any time with her, and you'll know it's the kids that she's committed to.

"Some of the children I have helped recover have grown up now. They have their own kids. It's delightful to receive Christmas cards from these families and to hear how they're doing," she says. "My job includes the rough times when I'm sitting with a family and struggling for the words to console them after their child's body is located. But it also includes the happy endings where I get to reunify a family. These times are why I have the best job in the world."

A family reunification is another scene few us will ever encounter:

A door opens. A social worker enters a private room in the police station, she's carrying a small child wrapped in a blanket. A mother resists the urge to run to her son and scoop him up even though it's been months since she's held her baby. Following Barb's advice, she waits a few minutes for the child to get his bearings and come to her. They finally embrace timidly. The mother begins to cry. The child, confused, cries too.

It's a scenario Barbara has also not only witnessed but facilitated dozens of times during her career.

Please contact Timothy Wilson, Marketing and Communications Manager at the Missing Children Society of Canada for more information or to schedule an interview with Barb Snider.

Contact Information

  • Missing Children Society of Canada
    Timothy Wilson
    Marketing and Communications Manager
    (403) 291-0705 or Mobile: (403) 862-5357
    Email: twilson@mcsc.ca
    Missing Children Society of Canada
    219, 5301 - 23 St NE
    Calgary, AB T2E 6V8