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How can I get a job as a runaway?

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  • #16
    I’m at 16 years old and a runaway I’ve been gone since February , I have plenty of places to live and I have clothes and the mandatory things I need .. but I’m reaching that age where I’m tired of asking for the things I need , I would like my own money and make it on my own so I’m asking if you know a way I could get a job I do know things like my social security number , etc . Just wondering if there is a way without the law being involved to where I would get caught ?


    • ccsmod13
      ccsmod13 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      Thank you for taking the time to contact us here at NRS. We are glad to hear that you are safe and that you are being supported. We also understand leaving home as a minor can still be challenging and it is totally understandable you would want to become more financially independent. While we are not legal experts we can speak generally about laws and issues related to young people who have left home. From what we know, you are able to get a job even if you have been reported as a runaway to the police as it is more than likely a report would not show up on a background check. Now, depending on your state and the employer a work permit signed by your school might be required. You will likely also need a form of ID and social security card. The National Network for Youth has a field guide for how young people can obtain a State ID, A helpful start could be to inquire about jobs at local businesses and restaurants to get a better idea of what documentation they require.

      We are available 24/7 for immediate support by phone at 1-800-786-2929 or through live chat at Please do not hesitate to reach out again if you would like to talk more about your situation or need any further support.

      Good luck!

  • #17
    Hi i am a runaway and i am 16 about to be 17, can i get a job and not be traced when im 17 or what?


    • ccsmod2
      ccsmod2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello There,
      Thank you for reaching out to The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to help and here to listen.
      We are not legal experts but usually with getting a job, it would not show up in a background check that you are a runaway. But keep in mind if there is a runaway report on you the police could always show up at your job. If the police were to find you it is a possibility that they could bring you back home.
      If you would like to talk more about your situation or have any more questions please give us a call. We are here for you 24/7. Best of luck, stay safe!

  • #18
    im 17 and im currently thinking of running away and no will not change my mind im in pasadena, tx but one thing is that im really worried about is that i don't really have money on me or anybody that i could stay and i don't really know if i could get a job the only thing i got on me is my ID and a piece a paper that i writen of my social security number and im planning to go far away that no one will find me!


    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi, thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you are in a difficult position, which is making you consider running away which must be extremely tough on you. Given that you are 17 you may want tp consider waiting before leaving your current living situation due to being a minor. We aren't legal experts, but we have dealt with many runaways before. As you are 17 it isn't illegal to runaway, but your parents are allowed to file a runaway report with the police. Therefore, it may result in you returning back to your household. There are living options that can provide some type of support even though you only have an ID and your social security number. As we have dealt with a lot of runaways, we are open to helping you if you are extremely set on running away to make your plan as efficient and safe as possible. We do have a database of resources which we can offer to you if you call or chat us. Having a space to vent and explore options may often bring out a solution not previously thought of. We can best help by phone or chat. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon. Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or (click on the chat button). We hope you reach out soon!

  • #19
    Hello. I am 14. And i have deppression. I dont feel safe being at my current place and can not do anything about it. My grandmother does not let me talk to my family and she drinks a lot. When she drinks, she gets mean and there is nothing that i can do. I wish i could go back to my family up north but she wont let me. I can not stand this anymore and want to leave. Would my life be totally ruined if i did and would i be able to be successful. I am really lonely and cant stand this. Please help.


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about what’s been going on, we know that it takes a lot of courage. It must be really hard to live in a home with so much tension. You deserve to feel safe at home and supported in a way that would allow you to be successful and thrive.

      You mentioned that you have been dealing with depression, it can be really hard to live with mental health issues and we want you to know that you aren’t alone in addressing them. If you’d like some additional support, an organization that may be helpful is the National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI). You can contact them by calling 1-800-950-NAMI or you can text them by sending NAMI to 741741. Another agency that could be of great help is the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), they can help you locate low or no cost mental health care providers in your area. Their number is 1-800-662-4357 or you can go to their site at

      It can be really hard to live with someone who struggles with an addiction to alcohol. We want you to know that you are not alone. If you’d like to talk to other young people who are dealing with friends or family members who have drinking problems you can check out Alateen. You can find more information about this support group, or find a local meeting here:

      If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

      Stay safe,

      We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey:

  • #20
    Hello, me and my friend are planning on running away I am currently 16 and my friend is 17. We are running away to (Main) and I am wondering if it is possible to stay at a homeless shelter without them questioning our backgrounds or needing any info. Another question is If we got a working license with our parents signature before we ran away would we be able to use the same working license in the state we run away to. Also what credentials do you need to have to apply for a pass port and what age?


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,
      Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.
      While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.
      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 forum 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); (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,

  • #21
    Hi I'm planning on running away, I'm 12 and don't feel welcome at home I just wanted to know where and if I could even get a job. My friend who is also 12 said they might runaway with me because she got kicked out for 2 weeks, but is there a possible way that at least could I get a job somewhere?


    • ccsmod3
      ccsmod3 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you and your friend have both been having difficult times at home. We are sorry to hear that you are going through this, and hope you both know you’re not alone.

      We are not legal experts at the NRS, but the general age that youth can get a job is 14 years old. In addition, parents are legally not allowed to kick their child out and refuse to let them back in. If your friend is experiencing this still, she does have the right to call the police and report her parents for neglect. If you or her would like to find more information about this, you can look at

      We would be happy to speak with you in more detail about your situation if you would like further support or additional resources from us. You can reach us anytime at 800-786-2929, or chat with us online at Both methods are completely confidential and staffed 24/7, so we are always ready to listen.

      Thank you again for reaching out to us. Wishing you the best luck, and stay safe.

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