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Thread: running away while a ward of the state

  1. #1
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    running away while a ward of the state

    Im 17 years old and committed to the state until im 19. i want to go traveling with my 18 year old boyfriend after i finish high school in january. my parents wont give me permission to go so i would have to run away to do this. please dont tell me why i shouldnt do this, i just want a clear answer on how the state would look for me, and what kind of trouble my boyfriend would get into if i was caught. i live in washington d.c.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    683

    Re: running away while a ward of the state

    Hello,

    Thank you for contacting National Runaway Switchboard for support and resources. We are a confidential crisis line and always look forward to serving you. Please tell us what resource we can provide you to help your situation for the better. It sounds like your mind is made up for what you intend to do after you finish high school. We are not in the position to tell you what to do but can offer options so we will never say you should or shouldn't do something. We offer support with our first priority being your safety.

    We are glad you wrote to us before graduated as it is sometimes helpful to have a place you call 24 hours day/7 days a week if you are ever in need of speaking to one of our liners. We are all trained the same way. What we can tell you only has to do with general laws for runaways. We are not legal experts. We do know that running away is not illegal although he does carry certain consequence that requires parents to file a runaway report in order to track you and protect themselves while you are on the run.

    The most you get is a status offense as a minor. This enables the police to take you home if you are found. It also depends on how far you are from home and always comes down to police discretion. There are moments where they can hold you in juvenile detention until you get the chance to see a judge. Although it is not illegal to runaway if you do, it is certainly illegal for anyone to harbor you as a runaway. It is considered contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

    It all depends on what actions your parents or guardians take towards your boyfriend since he is an adult and whether or not he helped to take you across state lines also. However, as a ward of the state, you may be getting into another category of what is expected by law to return you home. You may risk getting a warrant placed on your but that may depends on the conditions of your treatment plan.

    Have you thought about calling the local police station to speak with your caseworker to find out what it may all mean later? Laws do vary from state to state. The police may or may not come looking but there are no guarantees.

    -NRS
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:


    National Runaway Safeline
    info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

  3. #3
    Unregistered
    Guest
    the state wount acually look for u since your 17 i was a ward my self and ran at 16 dont worry bout it. ur bf will also be fine good luck

  4. #4
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2007
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    683

    Re: Running Away While A Ward of The State

    Hello,

    Thank you for posting on your site and sharing your experience. We are confidential, anonymous and always here 24 hours a day for support and resources. We are also very non-directiveness and respect self determination with our callers. We often give general overview of runaway laws because laws vary from state to state. We appreciate your point of reference but understand everyone's situation is different. It often comes down to police discretion for how they handle local runaway cases so we make sure that we do not say what the outcome will be. We recommend our callers call the local police to find out more about what they do if a runaway is found. We thank you for writing to us and we hope that we can continue to be of help later. Good luck.

    -NRS

  5. #5
    Unregistered
    Guest

    1 month and 3 days pregnant

    i am 18 and pregnant im a state ward and im a runaway i ran away from a foster home and i was on house arrest i cut it off and ran...i crossed state lines its been 5 months since i have been a runaway how am i going to have my child on the run???

  6. #6
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    497

    RE: 1 month and 3 days pregnant

    Hello, and thanks for your post to the National Runaway Switchboard's bulletin board.

    It sounds like you are dealing with some very serious matters, and we are glad you decided to contact us.

    You state that you are pregnant, a ward of the state, a fugitive from house arrest, and now a runaway. This is a lot to deal with for anyone, and you are extremely strong to be handling so much.

    Are you contact with anyone who knows your situation? Some people who have found themselves in a complicated situation will turn to a trusted person for support and help: a friend, family member, pastor, counselor, or social service agent. Do you know anyone like that who can help?

    Our mission is to keep you as safe as possible. We can look up emergency shelter options, health care options, and we can discuss your situation with you as well. The terms are up to you. We can be reached 24 hours a day, every day, at 1-800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929). Feel free to call. You can also chat with us via this web site - just click the big red button between 4:30pm and 11:30pm (Central time), every day.

    We are not legal experts or police officers, and we can't offer advice. But we can provide you with contact information for agencies that provide legal aid in your community, who will be able to answer any questions you may have about your legal situation.

    Best wishes to you, and thank you again for contacting us.

    ~NRS

  7. #7
    Alone
    Guest
    Hi I'm 16 and a runaway if I continue to be a run away I will become a wars of the state , my dad takes medication and abuses his mess while my mom has a abusive boyfriend right now I'm still in school and plan on going to collage to become a R.N or go into the army. Will I be able to choose where I live when I am a ward of the state ? Will I become legally emancipated ? Or will I have to go into a foster home?

  8. #8
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    489

    RE: running away while a ward of the state

    Hello,
    Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you are in a bad situation right now. No one deserves to be abused, and we are very sorry to hear about the situation with your family. It sounds like you are thinking about running away again, and that you might become a ward of the state. We are not experts, so we cannot give legal advice. However, we can try to give you an idea of how these things generally work. If you become a ward of the state, you will not be legally emancipated and you will not be able to choose where you live. Being a ward of the state means that a social worker or some other representative of the government is your legal guardian. Usually minors who become wards of the state go into the foster care system and are assigned housing.
    If you are interested in becoming legally emancipated, or if you want to go live with another family member who is willing to take over custody, you might want to speak with a lawyer. We can help you find a legal aid resource in your area if you are interested. Please call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or contact us by chat through this website between the hours of 4:30pm and 11:30pm Central Standard Time. All of our services are confidential and anonymous. We can talk to you about what options you might have and help you develop a plan of action. We are here to listen and support you in any way that we can. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon!

  9. #9
    Unregistered
    Guest

    Runaway

    My boyfriend was in a foster home and is now ward of state and is currently on the run, but he just turned 18 two days ago. His law gaurdian told him to call him as soon as he tunred 18 to sign himself out of foster care. He did so yesterday but they told him he has a new lawyer. What will they do if he turns himself in? or is he free as of now being that he is eighteen. We live in the state of new york.

    Need answers or direction on where to go from here..
    Please and thank you.

  10. #10
    Super Moderator
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Posts
    683

    re: Runaway

    Thanks so much for contacting us. You have some great questions about your boyfriend and his legal concerns. Is there a former caseworker or social worker that he can ask for help? It is great that you are trying to help him out, but these situations can be really confusing at times. Although we are not legal experts, we can tell you that at 18 in most places he would be considered a legal adult. What that means is that it might actually not be necessary to contact anyone. One thing you could always consider would be contacting The New York State Office of Children and Family to see what is required at this point considering you have aged out. You guys can call them at 518-473-7793. You are also welcome to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY 24 hours a day or chat with us from 4:30-11:30pm CST for additional resources or support. Good luck and take care!

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