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  • Runaway Questions!

    I am 17 years old living in Las Vegas. I have ran away from foster care, because I couldn't take it. I was on the brink of suicide before I left, and honestly- I HAVE NEVER BEEN HAPPIER.

    However, I'd like to know a few things.
    Would I be able to still go to school? Or would cops drag me out of there? I am capable of enrolling myself, but would I get turned away or be forcibly taken back to my placement? I'm also considering Virtual High School.

    How about getting a job? Would I be able to obtain one or will police take me away from there too?

    Is it also illegal to harbor a runaway in Las Vegas? There is nothing sexual between us, no drugs, no alcohol.

    And, what are the laws on running away when you're a ward of the state? I know the regular laws, but I don't anything about runaway foster kid laws. :/

    Please help,

    Thanks!

  • #2
    Re: Runaway Questions!

    Thank you so much for contacting us at the National Runaway Switchboard and telling us a bit about your situation. You mentioned that you recently ran away from foster care and you are happy with how things are now but also concerned because you are still 17. We are glad to hear that you are doing well and are safe at the moment. Where were you living when you were in foster care? What was the situation that was making you so unhappy? You also mentioned that you were having some suicidal feeling before you left. Is this something that you are still dealing with? It definitely sounds like you are in a tough situation, it seems like you feel safe and happy where you are but you are also concerned with getting a job and going to school.

    In most states the age of majority, when one is considered a legal adult, is 18. However there are many states that have discrepancies between the age of majority and the age a youth is still considered a runaway. This can often times depend on city and/or county. For example, we may often times hear that while the legal age of majority is 18, at 17 some local police may no longer take a report or make the youth return home if they leave. In regards to youth in foster care the age of majority is usually the same, although some agencies may be able to provide services up to the age of 21, but usually this is dependent on whether the youth choices to use those services or not.

    Because you are under the age of 18 there is a good possibility that a runaway report has been made. It’s understandable that you are concerned with school and working. If you were going to school before and return to the same one there is a possibility that they may know you are listed as a runaway and may contact the police if you return. So while people may not automatically look you up to see if you are a runaway, obviously trying to get a job or going to school may put you in a position for that to happen.

    Now we are not lawyers here so we cannot give any specific legal advice or know exactly how the police would respond to this situation. A possible option may be to contact your local police to get more accurate information on how they deal with youth who are 17. You don’t have to tell them your exact situation, you could just ask some general questions about age of majority, and how they deal with youth who are 17 years old. It may also be an option to contact your case worker to discuss the situation and see what your rights may be at this time.

    We are so glad that you contacted us here and want to let you know that we are available to talk 24 hours a day. If you want to discuss your situation more in depth you can give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) any time. We are a completely confidential hotline and there is always someone here to listen, discuss options, and even find resources. 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
    info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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

    Comment


    • #3
      im almost 18

      Hi, so i'll be 18 in less than 2 months, i have been battling fighting on and on with my mother, never had a father in my life. my mother was abusive about 7 years of my life, she would hit and call names and neglect me. I went on with this and said i finally have had enough. so i tried to call the cops. she took my phone right before i did and brought my whole family into it. it made me look like the most stupidest thing in this world. After all of that she knew she was about to get caught. so she hasnt hit me anymore after that. we will still get into fights and she will say " i would hit you so hard that youll be picking teeth out of your mouth, but youll go and tell the cops" she also calls me pretty horable things that i wont say on here, enough to make me hate my self and the way that i look. so i question is, im thinking about just packing and moving out. im almost 18, has a good job, and has good grades, what do i need to do, i dont want the law involved, and would they come and get me and make me go home or would they see that im okay and too close enough to 18? i need help on what to do

      Comment


      • #4
        re: im almost 18

        Hi there,

        Thanks for reaching out tonight and sharing your story with us. It sounds like you’ve been through so much with your mom. Your mom does not have any right to treat you that way. You deserve to live in a place where you feel safe and valued. We’re sorry that you’ve been going through all of this. You seem like a really great person and we want to make sure that we can help you out tonight. So let’s see what information we can share with you.

        We’re not legal experts here, but we are able to talk about what generally happens in situations like this. You asked some good questions. It is not illegal to runaway, so you would not be arrested. But in general, if you are under 18, your mom would have the right to file a runaway report with the police. If the police accept the report, and they find you, they could force you back home. Now, since you are so close to 18, it is rare for the police to actively search for you.

        They very most likely would not come and search for you because you are so close to 18. It also doesn’t sound like your mom would call the police because she probably doesn’t want to police involved either.

        If you’d like to talk through more options or discuss places where you might be able to go, feel free to call us 24 hours a day at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). If calling isn’t your thing, you can chat with us through our website (www.1800runaway.org) from 4.30pm-11.30pm Central Time. We look forward to your call or chat.

        Best of luck to you,

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

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

        Comment


        • #5
          custody

          I know this is for run aways but I have run away before I am not happy I want to know what steps I should take two reds moving in with my grandparents they are more fit to take care of me and are more financially stable. Please help if you can?

          Comment


          • #6
            RE: custody

            Hi there,

            We are glad you are reaching out for support tonight . It’s great that you are asking questions before you make any move. It sounds like the issues you are experiencing are causing you a lot of stress right now. We have options and ideas that may be able to help you figure things out about moving in with other people. In order to get some more information and discuss these options please give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). Our hotline is open 24 hours a day and is confidential and anonymous. You can also chat with us from 4:30pm – 11:30 pm Central Time through our website (www.1800runaway.org) and we can talk about it.

            Best of luck to you,

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

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

            Comment


            • #7
              Running away from fostercare

              Hey,umm I am 15 and well I just wanted to know that since I'm running away from fostercare if they can still take me in at 17 if they find me? And if I can get a job and go back to school? And if they do let me stay out of fostercare where I'm living at right now will they let me get my siblings out of there? I just want to know will it still be a big deal to them if I do all of those? Can they still take me in since I've been running from them and they can't get me to stop will they just leave me alone or still be able to put me in a lockdown facility like they told me they were going to do if they found me?

              Comment


              • #8
                I need answers

                Ok so I'm 15 and I've been running away from fostercare I want to know if that when I turn 17 can they still make a big deal about it or since the fact that I've been running away they'll just leave me alone,or will they not leave me alone? If they find me at the age of 17 can they still lock me up in a lockdown facility like they said they were going to do when they find me? And if they do let me stay where I am now and leave me alone can I get my siblings out of fostercare if I have a stable enough home?

                Comment


                • #9
                  RE: Running away from foster care

                  Hello,
                  Thank you for reaching out to us for help. You must be in a really difficult situation to be planning to run away. It sounds like you are trying to figure out how running away from foster care will affect your future. We are not legal experts, so we are unable to answer most of your questions with certainty. What happens will depend largely on your particular situation. If you run away from foster care and are found, you will most likely be returned into foster care. If they told you that you would be in a lockdown facility if you kept running away, that might be true. We really cannot say for sure. You might have a difficult time finding a job or enrolling in school as a runaway. We understand that this must be really scary for you, so if you want someone to talk to about what is going on, we are here to listen and support you however we can.

                  Is there anything that you could do to make your situation better? You might have other options besides running away to improve your situation. We can try to help you figure out what those options might be. You can call us 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or chat with us on our website www.1800RUNAWAY.org every day between 4:30pm and 11:30pm CST. All of our services are completely anonymous and confidential. We look forward to hearing from you and wish you the 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
                  info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
                  1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    ran away when 17

                    What can the cops do once I'm 18

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      RE:ran away when 17

                      Hi there,

                      Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard. We aren't legal experts, but we are able to talk about what might happen in general. Someone is considered a runaway when they 1. are a minor in the state that they live and 2. leave their legal guardian’s home without permission. When you turn 18 you are no longer considered a minor and have the right, as an adult, to go where ever you choose. If you choose to leave your guardian’s home when you are 18, and have no outstanding legal issues, the police will not go look for you.

                      Where you decide to live when you turn 18 then becomes a family dynamics issue – your guardians are no longer legally responsible to provide a place for you to live, and you are no longer legally required to live at home. If you do decide to leave, we want to make sure you have a plan that will keep you safe and off the streets. By calling us at 1-800-RUNAWAY we can work with you to explore options and resources to find a plan. We are also available through our website (www.1800runaway.org) from 4.30pm-11.30pm Central Time. We look forward to your call or chat.

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

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

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Running out of Country

                        Hi I have had a lot of things going on at home that has been physically hurting my well being. My mom doesn't feed me when I'm hungry and I'm not allowed to do any family things with my family. Me and my boyfriend are thinking about running away out of country but the only concerns I have is if I were to run away would the cops be able to bring me back all the way out of the country and me being 16 and my boyfriend 19 if I were to be brought back would my boyfriend be charged with kidnapping or anything?

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          RE: Running out of Country

                          Hello there,

                          Thank you for reaching out to us. It sounds like there has been some neglect and abuse going on in the home. You do have the right to feel safe in your own home. You also have the right to go to school regardless of your living situation. Just to let you know, we are not legal experts. However, we can explain what we know about the runaway laws.
                          Technically it's not against the law for you to run away from home. In most places it's considered a status offence. However, anyone you would be caught staying with could possibly be charged with 'harboring a runaway'. Have you thought about how you would cross the border if you have been reported missing? Do you have a passport? What would happen if they took your passport away? These are just a few things to consider before leaving.

                          Here at the National Runaway Safeline, we cannot tell you what you should or should not do. We can however help you explore some options and come up with a solid plan for what to do next. We can be reached at any time at 1-800-RUNAWAY(786-2929) or by live chat at www.1800runaway.org from 4:30pm-11:30pm Central Standard Time. 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
                          info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
                          1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Advice?

                            Hello. I am 14 years and contemplating running away. My household is very hostile and i dont know if i can take it very longer. I have dealt with mental illnesses and it is notan understanding environment. I live with my mother and its awful most days. I have an older sister that i would much rather live with but i feel she would make me go back home. The only thing that has kept me farely sane is my local boys and girls club. If i do run away i do not want to throw away my future and not finish school. I dont know if it is "just a phase" but i feel completely hopeless in this house. Maybe i just need a small break. Im nor sure. Could you offer advice?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Runaway Questions

                              Hi,

                              Thanks for contacting the National Runaway Safeline.
                              It sounds like you are feeling somewhat stressed about being in such an hostile home environment.
                              That's tough. We understand that sometimes frustrations build and it feels like you need a break from things or people. It's really great that you feel the boys and girls club provides you with a sense of comfort. It also sounds like you are into getting your education.
                              Good for you.

                              You mentioned having an older sister as a person you would like to live with although you feel she might make you go back home. Is there a possibility to try and work something out where you could stay a few days or so? This may be one option to at least have a temporary break from home.
                              How does that sound?

                              You did a great by reaching out tonight to NRS we hope that being able to vent has helped you feel better.
                              You are welcome to call 1-800-Runaway (786-2929) if you would like to explore other options for coping like counseling and other support services in your area. NRS has a national data base with information for services throughout the U.S.
                              Having a good support base can be helpful in getting you through a tough time.

                              NRS has live chat via our website www.1800Runaway.org from 4:30pm until 11:30pm (CST) 7 days a week.
                              We hope that things work out for you and we thank you again for contacting NRS .
                              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
                              info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
                              1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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

                              Comment

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