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What happens when you turn yourself in after you have runaway?

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  • What happens when you turn yourself in after you have runaway?

    I have been thinking about running away for a little bit then returning but was wondering what would happen when I turned my self in.

  • #2

    Thanks for writing in. It sounds like you are wanting a break from your home situation. In this case, you might consider asking your parents to stay with a friend or a family member for a period of time.
    We’re not legal experts, but in our experience it is not a crime to run away. If you leave without consent, your parents have the right to file a runaway report. If the police are able to locate you, the police would likely just return you home. If you turn yourself in, it is likely that the police will return you to your parents or guardians. If you want to talk about your situation specifically, please feel free to call us 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY. Best of 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!


    • #3
      I'm 12 years old, and I feel very stressed at home, it always feels like there is yelling and no one is happy. I have wanted to leave for a while, and there is so much stress building up at home that my doctor wanted me to see a counsler to cope with stress. My whole family knows that I am sensitive but they continue verbally hurting me. I live in Texas, please send help I hate it here, and I cant take it anymore.


      • ccsmod7
        ccsmod7 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello, thank you for reaching out to us! We are sorry to hear that it has been so stressful at home lately. You do not deserve to be verbally abused, and it is understandable why you would want to leave. It sounds like you are considering looking for help with dealing with this stress; keep in mind that you can give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) at any time, and we would be more than happy to help you find any resources. We are able to look up counseling resources in your area, as well as provide any other information you may interested in. We also offer a program where we can mediate a conference call between you and you parents if you are having trouble speaking to them about how you feel.

        Of course, we are also here to just talk if you are unsure how to handle your situation. We look forward to hearing from you soon!


    • #4
      I have ran away and don’t want to go back home. I am in foster car what should I do?


      • ccsmod3
        ccsmod3 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for reaching out to us. It sounds like you are looking for some answers about what options you have since running away. It understandable that you don't want to go back home especially if you were having problems there. If you are a ward of the state or adopted you may want to contact your case manager or social worker to find out how long you would be in the system. Other than that,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. What actions the police take once you are filed as a runaway can vary a lot from state to state and even city to city so we cannot predict exactly what would happen in your case. Generally speaking, if you encounter a police officer while reported as a runaway, you will likely be returned home. However, in that case there may be services (family counseling, etc.) available to you as a youth in crisis/runaway but again, police procedures related to offering those services can be different based on your location or the details of your situation. Another thing to consider is that while running away is not a crime, a legal adult who allows you to stay with them may be putting themselves at risk for being charged with harboring a runaway. One way to find out the laws in your area is to call your local police and ask what their policies are regarding runaway youth.

    • #5
      I'm 17 years old and I'm a current foster youth I ran away because I was homesick for my hometown and because my foster mom doesn't understand why I do the things I do I really need advice on what to do


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there. Thanks for reaching out to us. It makes sense that you'd be homesick, of course. We're sorry your mom doesn't understand you as much as you need her to. We never tell anyone what to do, but we can offer a few ideas to help you figure out what makes sense for you. One option would be to return home and have a conversation with your foster mom about how you feel. Perhaps you would even like to talk to her before you return home. If you give us a call, we can facilitate a conversation between the two of you. We wouldn't take sides, but would try to make sure you are both heard and can come to some agreement about your next steps.

        Those are just a couple options. We can explore more options if you give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY or chat with us via our chatroom found at If we know a little more about your situation we might be able to help further. We also have a large database of resources we can try to connect you with; things like shelters, counselors, legal aid, and the like.

        We hope to hear from you soon! Please stay safe and good luck!


    • #6
      Hey, I am thinking about running but I'm under 18 and don't plan on coming back, my only issue is that I don't want to be broke or have a life of crime to catch up to my loss of time and stuff.
      so I've been trying to figure out how to run and still be a successful adult after I turn eighteen.
      I know this is weird from a runaway but I am an over-thinker and don't want to ruin my life over one dumb decision.
      you might ask why I want to run well, but I have been in the system for eight years of my life and have not gone home so I feel it's hopeless to keep trying and I want to to have time to be a teen before I become an adult and I feel I deserve that chance I just want to be wise when making these decisions.


      • ccsmod2
        ccsmod2 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello There,
        Thank you for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to listen and here to help.
        It is great that you are trying to make a logical decision, it does seem like you have put a lot of thought into this decision.
        We are not legal experts but we do have some information that may help you with making a decision. If you were to leave without permission your legal guardian or foster parent does have the right to file a runaway report. If the police were to find you they most likely would bring you back home. Once you do reach the age of 18 the runaway report is off your record. As far as making money to obtain a job you most likely would need your ID, social security number and in some cases your birth certificate. Also you would most likely need a safe place to stay as most jobs require an address.
        We hope that 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 wish you the best of luck in your situation!
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