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How can I get a job as a runaway?

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  • How can I get a job as a runaway?

    I'm going to be 16 in less than two months, and I've been contemplating running away for about a year now. I've been horribly depressed for years, and I've reached a point where I'm suicidal everyday. I've attempted reaching out for help for a while now and my therapists disregard it entirely. They've abused me emotionally and mentally, and on rare occasion physically for a long time, they are the biggest cause of distress in my life. They've isolated me my whole life, won't let me get a job, and I'm not in school. The only thing that's kept me going is my friends, who all live in the same town four hours away from here in a different state.
    Today they unplugged and hid our router, which is my only form of communication with my friends and my boyfriend, and they had no good reason for doing it. This threw me over the edge, I desperately need my friends to get by. And I think I've made up my mind.
    I can't live or stay with people who don't take me seriously, disregard my physical and mental health, isolate me and **** me over every way they can.
    I have a plan, bring a couple hundred bucks with me, take trains/busses to my friend's as they're all willing to help me any way they can and they have no connection to my families so they'd just say I was emancipated and their parents wouldn't question.
    My biggest concern is, how would I get a job? I won't have any ID, how can I get a job without any SS#, or birth certificate, or proof of ID? That's among my biggest concerns. I need to be able to pay for myself no matter where I go.

    I've spent a LOT of time thinking this through, and I think I'm finally ready to go through with it, I can't live with these people anymore. I want to move on in my life.

    a few questions I have:

    -does public transportation allow pets?
    -roughly how much money would I want to bring? (it would take a week at the very longest to reach my destination)
    -how do I find runaway shelters and how long can you stay in them?
    -what are some good things to pack?
    -can I be tracked by my devices if they don't know my emails/social networking profiles?
    answers appreciated, thank you

    I want to do this as soon as possible. I know where to get money and where to go, I just need a job and guaranteed transportation.

  • #2
    RE: How can I get a job as a runaway?

    Hello there,

    Thank you for contacting us here at the National Runaway Safeline (NRS). It sounds like you have reached your breaking point at home as you mentioned feeling mistreated and neglected by your family. We are sorry that you are going through this. Nobody deserves to be abused or hurt in any way. You deserve to feel loved, supported, and appreciated. As a minor, there are laws that protect you from being abused or neglected. Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453 is a resource where you can talk to someone about the abuse you have endured as well as explore ways of filing a report against anyone who has harmed you. If you ever needed help reaching out, we can help with that.

    You mentioned feeling suicidal everyday, and we want you to know that there is help available if you need to talk about things. National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-8255 ( is a 24/7, free and confidential service where you can either call or live chat with someone about how you are feeling and what you have been through.

    Regarding your questions about leaving, we cannot give specific answers as every situation varies. We would be more than happy to explore these questions with you and help identify options that keep you safe. If you called in at 1-800-786-2929 or chatted with us through our website we can address those concerns and questions you have.

    Your safety and well-being is a priority. Please reach out by phone or chat soon.

    We wish you well and hope you stay safe.

    Take care,

    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 am a runaway and do not plan on going back to my fathers I am 16 and know that once I am 17 I can’t legally be forced to go back but I want to get a job if I apply and get it can I be found easily or my parents be notified and also is it safe to go to a school in a different county I was told if it is another county I’m not traced easily


      • ccsmod10
        ccsmod10 commented
        Editing a comment

        Thanks for reaching out to us! It sounds like you’re interested in finding a place to work, but you have concerns that your status as a runaway might let your father know where you are. You’re asking some really important questions about what potential consequences for you if you look for work as a runaway.

        Regarding your question about whether you can be found if you apply for a job, unfortunately, that depends on how your state handles runaway reports. Because we’re not legal experts, we can’t confirm that your applying for a job might trigger an alert that would let local police know where you are. One of the many things that can vary from state to state is whether local police will return you to your legal guardians or parents if you’re close to legal age. A good way to find out how local police handle runaway reports is to call them at their non-emergency number and ask. You don’t have to share any personal information to ask questions, and although there’s a risk that they may not answer you question, they would be the ones to know about the procedure. Regarding attending school, you do have the right to enroll in school, thanks to something called the McKinney-Vento act. Every school has a McKinney Vento liaison in their district, and they can help you enroll in school. They would also be able to give you more information regarding whether or not your enrolling in school would trigger any alerts.

        If you’d like more information on anything that we shared with you, or if you just need someone to talk to, please don’t hesitate to reach out. We are available 24/7 at 1.800.RUNAWAY (786.2929), every day on chat from 4:30pm – 11:30pm CST. We won’t tell you what to do, but we will do our best to help you stay as safe as possible with whatever you decide to do. We’re here to listen, here to help. Stay safe!


    • #4
      I am 17 and a runaway from a foster home I have been gone since November of 2017 and it is now September 2018 I need a job I wanna be able to support myself a lil more but how will I find a job without being found I have my social security and birth certificate I have no family out here I only have support from my friends Im from **** Virginia n it's hard as a female not having everything you need so can someone help me please?
      Last edited by ccsmod7; 09-13-2018, 10:34 AM.


      • ccsmod7
        ccsmod7 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there, thanks for reaching out today. Sounds like you are in a really difficult position of looking for a job while you are on the run and without your vital documents. Another thing to consider when looking for jobs, is if you are listed as a runaway and your employer runs a background check on you they can see that you are listed as a runaway.

        You might try to look for jobs at mom and pop stores that would require less documentation and would not need a background check. If you go that route, it is important to always be thinking about your safety and make sure you trust the employer. Here is a link showing each state's requirements for getting your ID, social security card, and birth certificate:

        Since you have been gone from your foster home for almost a year, it could be possible that you would have a different placement if you went back into the state's care. That is something that is completely up to you, especially if you have had negative experiences in foster care before. The state could assist you in finding different placement and help with extended benefits with college and independent living programs after you turn 18.

        Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you would like to talk through your situation and help with brainstorming your options. We are confidential, non-directive, and here to help.

        Be safe,


    • #5
      I am 16 and running away. My family mentally and emotionally abuses me every day and often physically. I do not want to go to the police because it would also mean my little brother would get taken away and he is their pride and joy and I would not want to do that to him. What would be the likely hood of them forcing me to go back home or taking me and my brother to a foster home if I was to get caught running away.


      • ccsmod7
        ccsmod7 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there, thanks for reaching out today. Sounds like you are dealing with a lot of abuse at home and your are worried about having your brother removed if you do leave or report the abuse. That must be incredibly hard to deal with.

        You don't deserve to be hurt in any way. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. You may also be able to report any mistreatment to CPS. Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453 is an organization that helps protect minors from being harmed. You mentioned being worried about reporting due to your brother being removed, if you do decide to report you can let the worker know that he is treated differently than you and is not harmed at home. So if CPS does investigate, they would focus on your situation and not his.

        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.

        Please do not hesitate to call or chat if you have questions, need shelter resources, or need to talk. We can explore your situation, go over all your options, and come up with a plan and resources to deal with your situation over the phone or on live chat.

        We are looking forward to hearing from you soon, and wish you the best of luck.


    • #6
      I’m 17 and I’m running away from home this summer. Why? Cause I have ADHD, and my parents make me take my Meds all the time and I’m sick of it. And not only that, cause I skip school a lot, too! And if my dad finds out that I have to take Junior year again, he’ll take my door down and burn it. So, I’m leaving this summer to avoid that, and the thing is, I’m glad I got myself a debit card. But my worst fear is: Would I actually get caught for running away if I got myself a Job before 18? Somebody please help me! I don’t wanna deal with those assholes anymore!


      • ccsmod2
        ccsmod2 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there! Thank you for reaching out to us. We want you to know that you have our support and we are rooting for your success in your search for independence, and that you are brave for doing so. Many individuals your age will feel your desire for independence also!
        In regards to running away, there are some important things to know. While we are not legal experts, if you are under 18, running away is considered a status offense, not a crime. Your parents do have the right to file a runaway report on you, and if the police decide to act on the report, they may be entitled to return you home. However, it depends on the police department in your area; they may not decide to enact that process if they see that you are almost 18. You getting a job right now however will most likely not affect this, the main risk will be if your parents file a report.
        Another thing to think about may be what your living situation will look like. If you decide to run away will you have a place to stay? Are you interested in looking for a shelter? If you have any specific questions or need to delve a little deeper into your situation with us please feel free to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY or chat with us on our website. We understand how frustrating it must be to deal with your parents, and your feelings are important to us. Perhaps another option for you may be to talk to them about your feelings about school and how taking medication is a burden to you, and see if they are willing to mediate on the situation. You deserve to be heard by your parents! If you are interested in our help with that, we also offer a conference call service to youth, in which we will help you with that conversation with your parents.
        One resource that may be helpful to see what your rights would look like as a homeless youth is something called the “Homeless Youth Handbook”, found on However this resource is only available in a few states.
        We’re really glad that you reached out to us. It takes a lot to ask for help and you are trying to figure out your options which is really good to see

    • #7
      So I am 16 I live in Arizona I've been contemplating on running away since I was 13 I've successfully ran away a few times but I have been caught and brought back into group homes I am about to turn 17 and I want to run from my group home but I want to make sure I can continue with my job and continue getting in pursuing my GED I do not want to get caught and once I turn 18 I would turn myself back in so that they can't return me to a group home I have a place to go but I would have to pay rent and rent would be around $500 I want to know if I would be able to keep my job without getting caught for found is there anything you guys can help me with


      • ccsmod7
        ccsmod7 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there, thanks for reaching out today. Sounds like you are wanting to run again, but worried about your job and pursuing your GED; which is pretty smart of you.

        Generally speaking, since it sounds like you are in the state's care, if you leave your group home they are mandated by law to report you as a runaway. If you they know where you work, they can let police know that you might be there. So if police go to your job and look for you, that is one way you can be found. Since you are close to 17, police might not actively look for you like they would for younger youth, however, legally you still could be returned back home if you are found. If police or your caregiver do not talk to your job, it would generally be hard for them to know that you are a runaway unless they run a background check on you.

        You mentioned what we can help you with, we are a confidential hotline that provides support and resources. If you call or chat us we can talk through your situation with you and help you identify your options. We also have shelter resources so please call or chat us if you ever need a safe place to go. We are always here for you: 1-800-RUNAWAY,


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