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  • Guardianship for runaway

    Hi-

    My friend's teenaged son ran away from home. So far, he hasn't shown up. He's likely staying with friends, but needs a more stable environment. I would like to petition for guardianship of him. Can I do that even though he's missing? Or do I have to wait until he's found?

    He knows how to contact me, but so far hasn't. He may feel I would tell his dad (single parent), or maybe he's just blowing off steam and having some fun. He was in a very over-protected environment, and was emotionally and verbally abused by the dad. I'm sure that's why the boy left.

    How can I help this young man? And how can I find him?

    Thanks.

  • #2
    Re: Guardianship for runaway

    Thanks so much for writing in. It sounds like a youth you know is dealing with a difficult situation and you are trying to figure out a way to help. You mentioned thinking that he needs a more stable environment and would like him to stay with you. How well do you know the youth’s dad? Would you feel comfortable talking with him about your concerns and the options you have been thinking about? Do you think that he would ever be willing to give you custody of his son? Have you spoken with a lawyer about petitioning for custody? Most often if someone is trying to gain custody they either have to be given permission from the parent to let the youth stay, or possibly Child Protective Services (CPS) would become involved and place the youth in the home. Now you mentioned something about emotional and verbal abuse by the dad. Has the youth ever discussed this abuse with you? Do you have any idea if he ever reported the abuse? If it is to the point where he feels unsafe in the home he has every right to talk with a CPS worker and report the abuse? Now that doesn’t mean that CPS will take him out of the home, but they would most likely send an investigator to see about the situation. In regards to trying to locate him, most often you have to be a legal guardian to make a runaway report, but there is an organization that works specifically with runaway and missing youth called the NCMEC (National Center for Missing and Exploited Children) 1-800-843-5678, that may be able to give you some more information. Some other ideas for trying to get in touch with him may be contacting any friends you know he hangs out with or seeing if he has a myspace page that you could leave a message with.

    In the end it sounds like you want what is best for the youth, but technically the dad is his legal guardian. We are not lawyers here by any means, so possibly the first step would be to talk with a lawyer or contact your local division of child and family services and get some more information on how to go about petitioning for guardianship. If you think the dad would be open to talking about this option, talking with him may be good as well. If you have any other questions or need specific resources in your area you can always call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. We are a completely confidential hotline and there is someone her 24 hours a day to help. Best of luck with everything and 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
      almost same spot

      i am trying to get gaurdianship of a runaway my self. she (the runaway) was kicked out of her aunts because the aunt has a girl the same age 15 as the runaway and they fought over a boy, well aunt took side of her daughter so she kicked her niece out instead of resolving the problem like an adult. the aunt had gaurdianship and had her in school. well the aunt doesnt want her back but she wont send the papers to get her enrolled in school here with me, oh the mom is nowhere to be found and the father is crazy and bipolar and violent so what can i do to get her in school i dont want her put in the system shes been abused abandoned and has moved over twenty times in her life, she needs love and stable ness in her life and i can give her that, shes a smart good kid and has asked herself why me many times over ,can you help

      Comment


      • #4
        Gaurdianship for runaway

        Hello,
        Thank you for posting on our NRS bulletin board at www.1800runaway.org
        It sounds like this young teen has gone through what would be considered some very traumatic family experiences.
        It is thankful she has a person like you trying to find help on her behalf.

        There may be a way for her to enroll in school as an unoccupied minor.
        Please take a look at the information we are providing for the

        McKinney Vento Act:
        According to the McKinney Vento Act, all youth are legally allowed to enroll in school. "Enroll now, ask questions later"

        There is a stipulation under this Act that applies to unaccompanied minors (i.e. runaways). For more information about how this law applies to runaways go to*: http://www.serve.org/nche/downloads/briefs/youth.pdf

        Youth need to get in touch with the Homeless Youth Liaison in order to enroll into school under this Act. Each school district is required to have a liaison. For information about state coordinators go to:
        http://www.serve.org/nche/states/state_resources.php

        *Schools may still have runaway notification policies that require the legal guardian to be notified at some point if the youth enrolls.
        In the situation with the teen you are inquiring about she may be considered a lock out or throw away case.

        We must inform you that the school may be mandated to inform Child Protective Services of the situation.
        It is probably a good idea to speak with the Liaison for the school district you are seeking to have her enrolled in about procedures with a scenario of this nature.

        We hope this information is helpful in the youth getting into school and having a stable place to live.
        We invite you or the youth to contact our 24hr 1-800-Runaway (786-2929) crisis line if you would like to discuss your situation further.

        We would be happy to try and help find information and referrals for youth services in regards to counseling, a safe place youth/teen shelter etc.

        You can also reach us by email at info@1800runaway.org or through our NRS
        Live Chat service at www.1800runaway.org.

        It’s really sad that she has been put in this situation.
        No one deserves to be abuse and put out of their home.

        Please let her know we are available to listen if she would like to talk with one of our liners at NRS.
        We thank you again for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard and we hope that the youth’s situation takes a turn for the better.

        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
        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
          i am a teenager and i once ran away last year over the summer time and i want guardianship because i dont want to stay at home any more my mother told me if i didnt want to stay there to tell her so i did but the person i wanted to stay with didnt live in dallas were i stayed at so a couple of months went by and i ended up running away for 2 days and i came back and me and my mother sat down and talked about it but i still plan to do it again

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Unregistered

            Hello there,

            We're glad you reached out to us. It sounds like you've been through quite a lot and are considering running away again. We aren't sure exactly what you mean by you "want guardianship." However, we would be happy to talk to you more about that. To speak directly, we offer Live Chat every night from 4:30 to 11:30pm CST. (Big red button, http://www.1800runaway.org) If you have any trouble chatting, you can always call us 24/7 at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929.) Good luck and stay safe!

            -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
              Run away

              Hello, I am trying to get Temporary Guardianship of my sister, I am over the age of 18 she's only 17 and has been living with myself and some friends since May of this year. My father as put her up as a run away and Told me that I would not be able to claim her or allow to get temporary guardianship. My sister is having really bad health problems associated with her back and reproductive issues. It was not until recently that these issues have become more sever and I can not get her on my Cen-cal. Is there anyway that I can check to see if she is really claimed as a "Run away" Or can I claim guardianship of her? Any answers would be best considering that I need to move in less than a month.

              Thank you!

              Comment


              • #8
                RE: run away

                Hello,

                Thank you for getting into contact with us through our National Runaway Safeline bulletin board. It sounds like you’re currently going through a lot right now between yours sister, your father, and yourself. It’s great that you want to help your sister in the best way that you can with getting her the medical attention that she needs, but it just sounds like you’re a little unsure about a few things. Hopefully we can help or at least set you in the right direction to get a definite answer to your question.

                Now we are not legal experts here, but running away isn’t generally considered illegal. Many states recognize harboring a runaway and/or contributing to the delinquency of minor crimes though. What this means is that if a runaway stays with someone and their parents or guardians do not give consent, that person could get into legal trouble. In order to find out if your sister has been filed as a runaway, you can get into contact your local non-emergency police number or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children ( 1.800.843.5678 ). They are available 24 and maybe able to provide the information
                Now like we have stated before we aren’t legal experts here, so answering your question of whether or not you are able to get temporary guardianship of your sister. In most cases, temporary guardianship is usually given by the minor’s parents to a person in whom they trust and give permission to supervise that child’s affairs. It is a process that is done through the courts, but it might be on your father to actually file the form/agreement with a judge giving up his rights for a short period of time. Through we can’t say for sure on what that process is exactly we can prove general legal aid that could better help answer that specific question depending on your location.

                Once again thank you for writing into the NRS. You can call into our 24hour hotline (1.800.RUNAWAY) for a more immediate response, as well as connect you to some resources that we might have on hand. Another service that we offer here at the NRS is our chat room which is offered from 4:30pm to 11:30pm/CST (www.1800RUNAWAY.org). If you feel more comfortable with that opinion we are more than welcome to contact us through there.

                Look forward to talking with you and 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


                • #9
                  ran away from home

                  my daughter ran away from home. She left behind a letter saying she didn't want to be with me anymore. she has a guardianship from us and shes 18. We live in Madison and we think she ran away to Chicago! What can we do?

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    RE: ran away from home

                    Hello there –

                    Thank you for reaching out and getting into contact with us here at the National Runaway Safeline on our public bulletin board. We are always here to listen and here to help in any way that we can. From what you have told us about your situation, it sounds like you are going through a very difficult time right now. It must be very frustrating to feel that your daughter doesn’t want to live at home anymore and has left. Seems like it is getting stressful for you because you don’t have an idea of where she might be heading. It’s great that you’re able to reach out to someone for help. We want to be able to support you the best way that we can.

                    We understand that this time can be very difficult for you and you’re looking for some answers to your question. Unfortunately, here at the NRS we cannot tell you in definite terms what age the age of majority is because sometimes laws on that specific subject vary from state to state, so our advice would be call your local non-emergency police number to get more information on that. With that said, in most states the age where someone is considered to be an adult is typically at 18 years old. So that means that if your daughter choose to leave home at the age of 18 years old, without your consent she is able to do that. Police stop taking runaway reports after the age of 18 so she wouldn’t be considered a runaway anymore.
                    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


                    • #11
                      ah, hello.

                      I live in a major city, and there is a band of children that live on my street. I've known them for a long while now- that is, a couple months, actually- and only recently ive come to understand their circumstance. one of the children- there are 7- has confided in me that they are all runaways from various families, none of which are even originally from this city. These children have even taken to calling me mom, but not that i know their situation, i want to do something.

                      Off the internet, ive managed to understand that a runaway child in my state has 4 legal options. Returning Home, Emancipation, Dependency, and Guardianship. before i try and contact any services, i want to know my share of law and i want to make sure i can do whats best for these children, and i have sworn an oath to one that i will do everything in my power to get them to stay with me. From what i've gathered, Guardianship sounds my best bet.

                      How would i get Guardianship over these children? how would i, what would i need, what is required? no matter what, the children are of the best interest, but they are so much my children and i their mother. i need assistance, and im worried ill be reported for harboring runaway children since i moved them into my house after finding out their condition was so bad. I cant send them back to their parents for serious reasons. please, how do i get Guardianship?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re:

                        Hi there,

                        Thank you for reaching out to us. It seems like you care a lot about these children and have their best interests in mind. It’s understandable that you would be concerned about your own role and don’t want to find yourself in legal trouble for providing them with a place to stay.

                        We’re not legal experts here, but acquiring guardianship is a legal process in which guardianship would need to be transferred to you. This would mostly involve the parents or legal guardians of the youth. Their parents would need to be either willing to give up their parental rights or Child Protective Services would need to remove them from their parents’ legal custody. It might be worth calling a legal aid office to ask more about what that process would entail. We would be happy to provide you with those types of resources if you call in or chat with us.

                        As far as you getting into any legal trouble for letting these youth stay in your home, it’s possible that you could be charged with harboring a runaway. Different areas pursue these charges differently, but it might be something to look into if that’s something you’re concerned about.

                        It seems like you’ve developed a close relationship with these youth and its good that they can turn to you for support. We hope this information is helpful and we welcome you to reach out to us if you want to discuss your situation in more detail.

                        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


                        • #13
                          Re: Guardianship for runaway

                          I am a legal guardian of my niece who is 17. She has been in my custody since she was 9 months. These last few years she has been doing drugs, and running away. We find her and try to get her help, but it only help temporarily. She will be fine for a while then runaway again. Now she comes home for a day or two then leaves again for a month or so. I'm not well, and I have a new grandchild, and I am fearful for who she may bring to my house and what they will do. She has been stealing from us, and causing problems within my home. She is around dangerous gang members, and I want her out of my custody A.S.A.P! She has a warrant in Ohio, where our family is, but we live in TN. What can I do to free myself from this nightmare? Please help me!

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: Guardianship for runaway

                            Thanks for reaching out to us. The situation with your niece sounds very stressful. It sounds like you’ve tried a lot of things to help her. But it makes sense that you’d want the situation to change because of the safety concerns.

                            One thing to explore would be MINS/CHINS programs. These are State based programs for out of control youth. The idea is that the state takes over setting boundaries for the youth.

                            In Tennessee the program is called Family Crisis Intervention Program. You could call the Department of Children’s Services at 615-313-4700 to ask for more info.

                            You may well have already tried this, but it’s important to mention, that you could try talking through your safety concerns with you niece. You could make sure that it was clear to her that her behavior was frightening and unstable, and that though you want to help her, you cannot provide a home for her unless her behavior changes. Maybe she could see your perspective, and maybe you could come up with ground rules for her. And Family counseling might help you both with that process. We have a database of resources (including free and low cost services,) that we could give you if you call.

                            Also, because of issues with her outstanding warrant in Ohio, and because there may be other legal means for you to end your guardianship, you might want to contact Legal Aid in Tennessee, and talk over those issues with legal experts.

                            Your fears and worries about this make sense, and it’s awful that you’ve tried to help her, but it’s not working. We hope these ideas give you a few more options.

                            Also, know you can call us 24/7. We can act as a sounding board.
                            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)
                            https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/YourOpinionMattersToUs

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              my brother ran away

                              My brother was in a group home. My grandmother had custody of him and died of cancer. He ran away before I told him I want to get custody of him. How do I get custody of a child who has ran away.

                              Comment

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