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  • Running away from DFACS

    Okay, so I got taken into custody from DFACS. I have been in two different foster houses and both families have continued to provide me with emotional stress 24/7 plus the entire Department of Family & Children Services (DFACS) system seems so backwards and wrong here in the state of Georgia.

    I am HIV+ and the emotional stress is going to tear down my immune system quicker than my diagnosis.

    I want to runaway but I dont know where I would go and I dont know how I can actually do that legally. I'm scared. I dont like it here and I dont think that this is the situation I should have to be with my health condition.

    Is there anything I can do?

  • #2
    Re: Running away from DFACS

    Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard. You said that since you’ve been in the custody of DFACS and placed with two different foster families you’re life has been really stressful. It is certainly understandable that having your legal guardians lose custody of you and then being placed to live in new a household could be really upsetting, scary, and upsetting. How old are you right now? How long have you been living with your current foster family? It sounds like you are really frustrated with your placement and the whole DFACS system. Are you able to tell us a little bit more about what has been going on?

    You also said that you are worried that all of this emotional stress could negatively impact your immune system. Are there any specific things making you stressed out? Are there things you could do to help manage your stress level? In what ways do you usually deal with stress? Is there anybody that you can talk to you, like a doctor, therapist or a school counselor, who might be able to help you out? Sometimes just having someone to talk to can be helpful. Are you currently under a doctor’s care? Have you expressed your concerns to them? What has their response been? If you would like more information on HIV/AIDS and health issues concerning living with HIV, you could call the CDC hotline at 1-800-232-4636.

    Considering how stressed out you feel living in your foster home, it is understandable that you might want to runaway. While we are not legal experts and can’t give legal advice here, running away is usually not considered illegal. Rather, it is a status offense—meaning that it is only something that you aren’t supposed to do as a minor. That is not to say that leaving the home of your legal guardian without permission is legal. To leave your foster home legally you would either (1) need to be emancipated or (2) have permission from your legal guardian. Emancipation can sometimes be a long and difficult process. Do you think your caseworker might be able to find you a foster home that you would be happier with? Or, have you thought about what would need to change in your current foster home to make living there more bearable for you?

    If you are willing and able, you could give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are here 24/7 and completely anonymous and confidential. If you did call us, we could talk to you about what is going on and hopefully connect you with resources in your area that might be able to help you out. For example, if you did decide to leave home, we might be able to find you a safe place to stay like a shelter. While we cannot tell you what to do, we can certainly help you develop a plan that you feel comfortable with.

    Take care,
    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
    [email protected] (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

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

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