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running away at 18

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  • #76
    i am 18 years old and from Texas have little money and i only have a mom as a parent if i was to runway and she tracks me on my phone(life 360) would i be allowed to legally to run away and stay somewhere else because could i just go stay at a friends house or would that get them evolved legally


    • ccsmod6
      ccsmod6 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello and thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like home life is really stressful for you and it makes sense that you would like to leave.

      While we are not legal experts, we do have a great deal of experience working with runaways and youths in crisis. 18 is the age of majority in Texas, so you are considered an adult. However, there are some situations where a parent might have extended custody over someone over the age of 18 due to a disability, mental health issue, or some other condition. If that is not the case, then you have the right to live and be where you please. Something to note is that the flip side of this is your mom does not have to let you live with her if you change your mind at any point. Additionally, if your mom is paying for your phone service or anything else that you are using/relying on, she can decide not to do so. It might be wise to think about these things before making any major decisions.

      If you wanted to talk more about what is going on and what options you might have, please don’t hesitate to chat with us at or reach out over the phone at 1-800-786-2929. We are 24/7 and confidential and would be happy to talk to you more about your situation.

      Take care,

  • #77
    Hello I'm 18 years old and I can't take much more of it at home I'm from MN and its hard for me at home I'm push to do my best but I can't take much more of it Because I can't make my own desicens and my mom and dad make them for me most of the time I can't even pick out my own outfits to wear plz help me I don't know what to do

    If I ran away is there away you can get me to a deffrent state plz I can't take much more here my preants are very tuff on me they want me to do my best but I fell like I'm going insane
    Last edited by ccsmod0; 03-09-2021, 12:33 AM.


    • ccsmod0
      ccsmod0 commented
      Editing a comment
      Since you are 18 you are more than likely considered a legal adult which means that you can move out if you want to and you won’t be considered a runaway. As a legal adult, you have a right to make your own decisions about where you live.  We can help you make a plan for how to deal with your situation and help you find resources to land on your feet. Having a plan for where you will live and how you will survive once you move out can be very helpful. Moving can be a huge step, and you don’t have to be alone. Some steps you can take towards independence might be to find employment if you don’t have an income, or to save up money for moving expenses. It can also be helpful to research rents in your area, find a roommate, or make a budget. Another thing you might want to consider is what kinds of things you depend on your parents for currently such as tuition expenses for school, or health insurance, and whether they would continue to provide those things after you leave. There may be social service agencies in your area that can help meet some of these needs, such as Transitional Living Programs, a kind of shelter where young adults can live and get services to help them transition to independent living. We are here to listen and help however we can.

  • #78
    I have a son who just turned 18. He has been in foster care and wants to leave. His caseworker told him that he has to remain in foster care until he is 21. However, he and I have both been researching the laws in his State (Illinois) and there is nothing we have found that says he must remain in care; everything we have found, including on government and attorney websites, states that he may "opt to stay in care" and to receive services they offer to help him become self-sufficient he must provide consent. He wants to know what would happen if he were to simply leave without notifying his caseworker or DCFS or the court. Through the years he has been in care, he has been placed in abusive households and has run away at least once and has contemplated suicide and even possibly made attempts. I think one of the only things that kept him from ending things was that he was able to remain in contact with me and some of his other birth family and knows that when he finally is able to leave foster care, he'll have somewhere to go where he's loved and supported. I want to help him to get out of the system - I terminated my rights voluntarily to keep him safe from his abusive father, who would've stalked us and possibly put us in danger if I had custody - but I want to make sure everything we do is legal and doesn't cause him more problems. Once he's out of foster care, I will be able to secure affordable housing for him as well as a job I know he'll be able to handle, and the housing would be close enough to where I live that he'd be able to come to me anytime he is struggling, plus the job would be at the same place I work and I'd be able to provide transportation. Since I live in Missouri, I want to be sure that everything we do is legal in my state as well as the state of Illinois. Do you have any advice? Can he leave without notifying his caseworker? Can he simply tell her, "I'm 18, legally an adult, and I'm moving out." Or does he need to go through court to have his case closed?


    • ccsmod16
      ccsmod16 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out to us; we are glad that you did. It sounds like you did a very brave thing by giving up your parental rights to keep him safe from his abusive father. We hope that you are safe now too.
      We are not legal experts, so we can't answer the specific questions, but we found a DCFS Youth Hotline that you can call, or your son can call, to find out the answers to this situation.
      This would give you the most reliable information available, unless you request to speak with his caseworker's supervisor.
      We hope this is helpful. If you son would like to call them, but needs help, he can call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) and we can do a conference call to that hotline. We would act as his ally and advocate through the call.
      If he does call us, the person answering won't know about this post, so he will have to talk about his situation and the DCFS Youth Hotline.
      We wish you the best of luck and hope to hear from him soon if he needs us.
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