Child ID Program (VACHIP) – The Grand Lodge of Virginia

GRAND LODGE COMMITTEE ON CHILD ID (VACHIP)

Child Safety Initiatives

Virginia Freemasons are committed to the safety and security of our Commonwealth’s most precious resource – our children. This concern led our Fraternity to become one of the first jurisdictions to establish and provide a comprehensive child identification program to help resolve missing children cases. For over two decades, our Masons have provided, at no cost, thousands of Virginia families a kit containing potentially lifesaving information about their children.

Initially, parents were provided with a booklet containing the fingerprints of their child along with instructions on how to collect and assemble other valuable identification information about their loved one. With advances in technology, VaCHIP, the Virginia Child Identification Program, evolved into a program where critical information, including full sets of fingerprints along with digital photographs and a recorded interview, were collected. This data was transferred onto a disc that parents could view at home, and if ever the need arise, provide this information to law enforcement officials to assist in locating a missing or endangered child.

New dangers are facing Virginia’s families and their children. Today our youth are threatened by both physical and cyber bullying. Schools are no longer the safe haven we once believed them to be, and the availability of both illegal and diverted prescription drugs put kids at risk. With the same caring spirit, Virginia’s Freemasons will now contribute to solving these problems, working with others to protect our youth from the dangers in the 21st century. As the threats and hazards evolve, so too must our efforts. In modeling the tenets of our Fraternity, we can ensure that the youth of today become the Masons of tomorrow.