If you ask just about any policeman or investigator who works with missing children cases they will tell you the biggest tool in aiding a successful recovery is having a quality current photo of the child. Kids can change quickly and it is important that the photo authorities are using to aid in the search are as close as possible to their current appearance in order to be the most help.
Recent studies have also shown that though school photos are so helpful in the search for the child in some cases they actually do not help witnesses recognize the child. Studies are showing that in school photos children are clean and happy which may not be the case when they are missing from their parents. This difference of facial expression can impair the recognition of the child, which can lose valuable time in their recovery. Many authorities are not suggesting that parents provide recent photos from school as well as those from home in which maybe they are not as clean or smiling as happily. Having different types of photos can better help potential witnesses who may have seen the child. Of course to be extra sure and to really get a help in recovery utilizing new technology such as an child locator device can really help expedite their recovery but pictures will still be essential.