The work of the Child Abduction Unit (CAU) focuses on protecting the custody and visitation rights of parents and legal guardians. To this end, the CAU:
Assists law enforcement and other agencies in locating and recovering children who have been taken, withheld or concealed from a parent or legal guardian.
Acts on behalf of the Superior Court to enforce custody and visitation orders when a child is taken, withheld or concealed by a party to a custody proceeding.
Prosecutes cases of criminal child abduction.
On a routine basis, the CAU partners with courts and law enforcement throughout the United States to recover abducted children who are carried across state lines.
In cases of international child abduction, the CAU implements the terms of the Hague Convention, an international treaty signed by more than 60 countries. This effort involves a working relationship with the U.S. State Department, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, and the Attorney General of California in helping to recover children taken to or from foreign lands.