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  • 17 and running away

    So im 16 now but my boyfriend is 22. in a few months he's moving to another state and I want to move in with him. In a few months I'll be 17 so when I do runaway i will be 17 and almost exactly 1 year til im 18. Now Im scared I wont be able to get a job because ill be considered a "runaway". How do I go about getting a job when I runaway and not get caught? Obviously Ill be in another state and no one will know what state Ill be in. Could the cops still find me and bring me back? Oh and I tried the emancipation route but in my state you need "parental consent" which really defeats the whole process as most pre-adults who want to be emancipated are abused by....you guessed it, their parents. I have my HS diploma already because i went to HS online. Oh and by the way, im currently not living with my mom but in another state with my brother because some bad things happened to me in my town and I cant go back with any dignity...nothing illegal I did, but just the people there.

    So back to my question of getting a job, should I just find a job low paying but I dont need to fill out an application? My bf makes more than enough money to support us both, but I want to do something as well, I couldnt just sit around feeling useless. And yes I have decided completely to runaway and there is no changing my mind. Thanks for your time.

  • #2
    Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard and asking for assistance. It sounds like you are trying to figure out the best possible course of action for when you leave home and hopefully, we can help you out. We aren’t legally trained here so we can’t tell you for sure what would or wouldn’t happen but we may be able to give you a general explanation and find some legal resources for you.

    It sounds like you are planning on leaving your brothers home and going with your boyfriend in a few months, correct? One thing that may happen is that your boyfriend could get into trouble. Since you are under the age of 18 and he is over the age of 18, he could possibly be charged with harboring a runaway or contributing to the delinquency of a minor. He could also get in trouble for crossing state lines with a minor.

    You mentioned that you had tried to become emancipated but in the state you currently reside in, you need parental consent. It also sounds like you weren’t able to get it because of an abusive situation with your parents. We are sorry to hear that you weren’t granted that option; everyone deserves to feel safe in their own home. We are also sorry to hear that you had to leave your hometown due to the actions of some of the other people there. Can you tell us a little more about that? When you left your mom’s home, did your brother become your legal guardian?

    One option that your parent/legal guardian has is to file a runaway report with the local police department. If they were to do that, it may go into a national database that all police have access to. So, even if you were to cross state lines with your boyfriend, the police may be able to find you. Now, it’s not illegal to run away but it is considered a status offense; a status offense is something you can’t do because you are under the age of 18. If the police in another state were to locate you, what they would probably do is contact your legal guardian and make arrangements to return you home.

    It sounds like the main reason you contacted us was to inquire about the legalities of finding a job. Unfortunately, we can’t tell you the best route of finding one. If there is a runaway report filed and the company you apply with does a background check, it may come up that you are considered a runaway. There is an organization called Job Corps that offers job training and housing but they may also require parental consent. Do you think that your mom or brother would allow for you to do something like that? If you are interested in exploring that some more, their hotline number is 1-800-733-5627 and their website is http://www.jobcorps.gov. You can see what programs they offer in each state and what their requirements are.

    Like we mentioned before, we can provide you with some legal aid resources if you would like those but we would need to know what state/s to look in. We are a completely confidential and anonymous hotline that is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We also have chat services available from 4:30 PM-11:30 PM (CST), 7 days a week.

    We look forward to hearing from you and wish you the best of luck.

    ~NRS
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

    National Runaway Safeline
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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

    Comment


    • #3
      Reply from poster

      Well im in Florida now, and my brother is not my legal guardian, I have also tried this route but my mom is too controlling and wont allow him to be my guardian. Now the State of WI where my mom is located does not have the "Status Offense" law on a runaway so i know I wouldnt have to deal with that. My mom would never allow me to just leave my home because she loves to control my life because she lives hers through mine I guess, its really annoying. But she hates my boyfriend because of some issues he had in the past with my family...again nothing illegal just my mom is controlling and he wouldnt let her control him when he was in our lives significantly. He's just so strong and I know he is afraid of the legal issues it might cause because he works for the government and could lose his job over something like this, but I know he is willing to take the risk because he is supportive of the whole thing. So basically what your saying is id need to find a job that pays cash and doesnt require an application? Is crossing state lines with a minor a big deal? Thanks

      Comment


      • #4
        RE: 17 and Running Away

        Hello,

        Thank you for contacting us at National Runaway Switchboard for support. It sounds like you have a lot going in right now. It must not be easy to be in such a stressful situation. It sounds like you have great support in your boyfriend and your brother.

        We are not legal experts and cannot give advice but we are able to offer a general overview of runaway ways. It is not illegal to runaway from home. One option may be that you call the police to ask these questions since they are ones that respond and at their own discretion.

        We imagine that aiding a minor in any way may have its consequences and across state lines sounds like a different issue altogether. We are here to offer you certain options you may not have considered yet. Emancipation is one of them. But you have to prove you can survive on your own. Are there other relatives in your life you can turn to for support. We are here for you to talk to if you were to call us at 1800RUNAWAY. We are confidential and anonymous.

        -Good luck.
        Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

        National Runaway Safeline
        [email protected] (Crisis Email)
        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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

        Comment


        • #5
          If i go to a court to get my id and birthcertificate will it pop up as a runaway for me, ive been missing for 5 months

          Comment


          • ccsmod2
            ccsmod2 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hello,

            Thank you for reaching out to us here at National Runaway Safeline. We are not legal experts so we cannot say for sure what would happen if you went to court to get your ID or birth certificate. You could contact your local court house to see if it will notify the office or whether you are a runaway, when you apply for your documents. If you don't feel comfortable calling your local court house, we could call on your behalf. Please contact us directly via our 24 hour crisis hotline (1-800-786-2929) if you have more questions or just want to talk.

        • #6
          I am the oldest of 8 kids ...my mom is a good mom she just needsneeds financial aid and things of the sort. I've been homeless off and on for about 7 years and I just turned 17 10 days ago. I want to move in an apartment with a friend and get a job or go to job corps but I am constantly being held back by her . I want to be better and I want to get away from it all in order to get myself right and get my GED so I can help her and my siblings out in the long run

          Comment


          • ccsmod11
            ccsmod11 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi there,

            Thanks so much for reaching out to us. It sounds like your mother has some financial issues that have caused you to be homeless more than once. We hope our message can help you. We're not exactly sure how your mom is holding you back from enrolling in JobCorps, but we would be happy to talk to you about the barriers to you accessing this program, and maybe brainstorm some other programs that don't have the same barriers that may be preventing you from enrolling in JobCorps. We also can try to help you find housing options in your area if you need somewhere to be stably housed. Just call us at 1-800-786-2929.

            Best,
            NRS

        • #7
          Hello I'm on the run from my dad bc my step mom is externally rude to me and don't like me I'm living with a family member but my dad don't know that and right now I'm trying to get a job that wont turn me in bc my the family im living with is needing help with bills and money I'm 17 I turn 18 in 5 months but like I said I'm on the run so where can I find a place that will hire me and not turn me in

          Comment


          • ccsmod9
            ccsmod9 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thanks for reaching out to NRS. We can understand how there must be so much stress with your situation. From what we gather about your situation it might be that you just need to keep looking for a job that will hire you. Its great you want to help out. You mentioned places of business turning you in but you are so close to being 18 that they might not even bother. In addition the police might not even have a runaway report made for you so you might not even need to worry about being brought back home.
            We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
            Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).
            If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
            Be safe,
            NRS

        • #8
          Thank you that help a lot

          Comment


          • ccsmod5
            ccsmod5 commented
            Editing a comment
            You're so welcome! Good luck and feel free to call for support any time!

            --NRS

        • #9
          im 17 and i haave an id and a school id no social but i know it buy heart can i still get a job as a run away?Can the cops take me from my job?

          Comment


          • ccsmod6
            ccsmod6 commented
            Editing a comment
            Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Safeline. It is hard for us to say definitively whether or not you can get a job as a runaway regardless of whether or not you have ID. Oftentimes, employers require employees to have stable addresses and if the employee is a minor, parental consent. While we are not legal experts, we do have general information about what happens to runaways. As a runaway, if your guardians filed a runaway report, the police would typically be able to take you back home and notify your guardians if they encountered you. If you would like to share a little bit more about what is going on, we might be able to offer you more specific information about your situation. If you are interested, please don’t hesitate to call us on our 24/7 hotline or reach out on chat at 1800runaway.org.

        • #10
          im 15 and about to turn 16. I plan on running away on my birthday. my family is okay with it but they HAVE to call the police. which I can understand. how can I get a job and an ID when I do become 18.

          Comment


          • ccsmod2
            ccsmod2 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hello There,
            Thank you for contacting The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to help and here to listen. We are not legal experts but we do have general information on the laws. Because you are a minor if your parents file a runaway report and the police find you they would most likely bring you back home, One option you could consider which would make you a legal adult before turning 18 is emancipation. To file for emancipation you can go to your local court house and ask them how to begin the emancipation process. In most states the legal age to get a job is 16 years old so you could start applying for jobs once you turn 16. For most jobs you will need proper identification such as a birth certificate, an ID, and a social security card. If your parents are okay with you leaving like you have mentioned, before you decide to leave you could ask them to help you obtain those documents.
            We hope this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore more options please give us a call. We are here 24/7 to listen and to provide support to you. We wish you the best of luck in your situation.
            NRS

        • #11
          17 and in Florida: I am currently in a situation where I’m being controlled by my legal guardian , won’t let me get a job, go out with family or boyfriend etc. but she has my homeless father staying here that has drugs in My home and sometimes hides substances in my room under my bed. She also has a pedophile in my home which sexually harassed my sister for 10 years that she cooks , cleans , does laundry etc. for. She knows about everything that occurred with my sister , now my sister is 18 and has moved out. They ALL talk down on me and my boyfriend that we soon would like to move out. It is very uncomfortable in my home and I’ve been trying to hold everything in. I am applying for jobs so I can leave soon , but if she decides to take this to court will there be anyways that I can convince the judge to let me move out and prove that my boyfriend and I are stable enough to have our own place? I’ve been told that with this kind of situation the judge will be pretty upset if I explain what is going on in This household. Since I’ll still be 17 when I plan to leave she will stay with my check and food stamps I get every month so there’s a chance she won’t take it to court. But if she does can I convince the judge to emancipate myself even if she doesn’t give permission to?

          Comment


          • #12
            Reply: 17 and in Florida


            Hello,
            Thank you for writing to us here at the National Runaway Safeline.

            We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It sounds like it has been a disturbing troublesome time for you and family members living at home. You don’t deserve to be put in compromising positions that could affect your safety or legal standing.

            18 years old is generally the age that an individual may leave home without permission from their parent or legal guardian. We are not legal experts here but we can speak in general terms. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission, your parent/guardian may file a runaway report with the police. In some states there are emancipation laws that can be one way of trying to gain your independence. Again we are not legal experts, but we can help you get a general sense of how emancipation works. Our general understanding is some states offer formal emancipation statutes while others do not. Fortunately the state of Florida does. Emancipation laws vary depending on your location, but in many states a minor can petition the court for emancipation to take responsibility for their own care before they turn 18.

            Generally speaking, courts are wary about granting emancipation. In most cases, you would have to prove in court that you have an income and can care for yourself financially, and that you are able to live separately from your parents. It also helps to be in good standing at school. Usually your legal guardian would have to agree to this in court. It’s best to check your local court house to gain more information on this process.
            Also you might check with your local police department to inquire about the runaway laws in your state or if someone that moves out of their parent or guardian’s home would without permission would be considered a runaway and forced to return home.

            If you would like to talk more about your situation we are here to listen and here to help.
            To speak with someone on our crisis or chat line contact 1-800-Runaway (786-2929) or www.1800runaway.org
            We look forward to hearing from you.

            Take care,
            NRS
            Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat.

            National Runaway Safeline
            [email protected] (Crisis Email)
            1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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

            Comment


            • #13
              My dad called the police on me and said I hit him when I didnt and he said there's a court order saying I cant go home but I also don't wanna go to idc or the family resources shelter what can I do ? I'm 17 and I have no idea what I can do to get free from all of it

              Comment


              • ccsmod15
                ccsmod15 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hello,
                Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We recognize that it takes courage to reach out and ask for help. It sounds like you are experiencing a stressful situation with your dad and may need to find resources that can further assist or support you during this challenging time. We appreciate you sharing this information with us so that we may find a way to provide you with the best support we can provide. We would be happy to assist you further by talking with you via phone or chat, as NRS services are unable to respond more than twice by email or bulletin assistance.

                Please contact our 24/7 crisis support line either by phone or chat.
                Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).
                If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
                We hope to hear from you soon.
                Be safe,
                NRS

            • #14
              I’m 17 and I’m in cps custody I’m on the run and I’m trying to get a job is that possible without getting caught and arrested ?

              Comment


              • ccsmod1
                ccsmod1 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hi there,

                Thank you for reaching out to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). It sounds like there may be quite a bit going on that we can help talk through with you if you would like to reach out to us through our online chat portal, found on our website at www.1800runaway.org or by giving us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We recognize your question regarding the fear of being caught for running away. We can certainly talk through this further with you through our direct support. Please know that we are no law experts, but it is our general knowledge that running away is not considered a crime and there are multiple different outcomes that could happen if you were to be found. We look forward to this opportunity to talk further with you.

                Wishing you strong health, safety, and peace.

                Sincerely,
                NRS

            • #15
              I was wondering if I’m 16 turning 17 in a few months and I leave (from ga to cali) will I still be able to get a job with the right forms (such as birth certificate ssn etc.) if I’m filed as a runaway in ga.

              Comment


              • ccsmod1
                ccsmod1 commented
                Editing a comment
                Hi there,

                Thank you so much for reaching out to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS) with your question. It sounds like you are wondering if you will still qualify for employment if you were to run away to another state, but have all of your documentation. This is a great question and we are glad you asked. Please know that unfortunately, we are not legal experts. However, at the very least, it is to our understanding that at 17, you may get a job without parental consent, provided you have all of the necessary documentation upon getting hired. It may be worth looking into California labor laws regarding minors and employment. This may just provide any additional information for you that we may not be aware of. For example, in most places, there are only a certain amount of hours that a minor may work per week.

                We hope that this information has been able to provide a bit of clarity for you on the situation. Please feel welcome to reach out to us through phone call at 1-800-RUNAWAY, or through our online chat service, found directly on our website at www.1800runaway.org. We would be happy to talk further with you about the situation and provide any additional support that you feel may be helpful.

                Wishing you all the best,
                NRS
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