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Missouri 17 YO Runaway Laws

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  • #46
    I have a friend who is in a foster home and is 17 but wants to run away due to safety risks at the home. How much trouble could my friend get into? And what happens if an 18 year old harbors my friend?Would the 18 year old get into trouble?

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    • ccsmod9
      ccsmod9 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,
      Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.
      While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions. There is a loophole sometimes if the youth is close enough to being 18 the police might not look for them or file the runaway report since they are so close to being 18. Again it might be a good idea to call the local non-emergency number.
      We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
      Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).
      If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
      Be safe,
      NRS

  • #47
    Hello,
    My step-daughter lives in Missouri with her biological mother and step-father. She calls me frequently about how she feels that this a toxic environment for her. She is 17 and turns 18 in 2 months. She has secured a safe place to live until her biological father and myself are able to move out when I finish college this summer. He is contemplating moving out ahead of schedule. Can she move to this safe place while waiting without severe repercussions? I'm not sure whether her biological mother and step-father would call her in as a runaway.
    Thanks for any help!

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Thank you for reaching out! It sounds like a tough situation and it is admirable of you reach out for support!

      We are not legal experts, but are happy to provide any information that we can! A youth is able to move to a new location with the permission of the guardians, so if the youth is able to gain permission from her biological father then it would be possible to move to this new location. Her legal guardians do have the ability to file a runaway report if they do not provide consent and they feel inclined to, and then there can potentially be consequences for harboring a runaway. Runaway reports are handled differently in each state and area, so reaching out to your local police department to ask this question as a hypothetical would be an option for you. Only you know your step-daughter and her situation best! We wish you the best of luck, and please feel free to reach out for more information if necessary!

      Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you ever need: 1-800-RUNAWAY; www.1800runaway.org. We are always here for you.

      Best,

      NRS

  • #48
    I have a friend that ran away and is 16. When he turns 17 does he still have to worry about being forced to go home?

    Comment


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      Thanks so much for contacting us, it takes a lot of courage to reach out and share what’s going on. We aren’t legal experts here at NRS but generally speaking, the age of majority (adulthood) in Missouri is 18, which means that your friend is a minor until he turns 18. Since he has already left home, his parents can file a runaway report, which is essentially a missing person report. Running away is a status offense; this means that it isn’t illegal, but it’s something you can’t do while still a minor. If the authorities were to locate your friend he would most likely be returned home to his parents.

      Of course, you can always recommend that your friend contact us directly to go over what’s going on in depth or to explore other options that he may have available to him. He can call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY or chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support in any way we can.

      All the best,
      NRS

  • #49
    Hi i’m 17 and turn 18 in 4 months. I have a ID and all my personal belongings. The lady i’m with has a Guardianship Waver my dad signed. if i left and went somewhere else would i get into trouble?

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there, thanks for reaching out today. Sounds like you are hoping to leave home before you turn 18. Here at NRS, we truly want to help and inform you the best we can.

      We are not legal experts here but we can speak in general terms. If you are under 18 and leave home without permission, your guardian or temporary 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, it is possible that local police could have a different response since you are close to turning 18. 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 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.

      -NRS

  • #50
    So I just turned 15 and have been thinking about either running away or just ending it all through suicide and I'd rather run away then kill myself but all options are on the table right now. My dad just found out that I vape chew and drink he wasn't mad but I feel like he's just dissapointed and he is like the only one in my family who cares about me. My mom is always ride to me and does things just to make me mad like recently I had to go to summer school just to make up one class but instead just to make me mad and ruin my summer she signed me up for 2. I also just got a snake and it's the only thing I've ever wanted in my life and it's gone within the first 3 days of owning it I'm not sure but I feel like my mom did something to it just to make me more depressed. I've been having these thoughts since 4th grade.

    Comment


    • ccsmod9
      ccsmod9 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,
      Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It sounds like you’re quite overwhelmed by things at home right now. It sounds like you’re fearing that the situation may end in suicide if things don’t change. Your safety and well-being is important. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline 1-800-273-TALK (8255); www.suicidepreventionlifeline.org is also a great resource to reach out to in addition to our crisis services.
      Often, having a safe space to share how you’re feeling may bring a variety of solutions previously not thought of. Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem. This may be an isolating and lonely time for you, but you are not alone in this. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time.
      If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon. Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).
      We hope to hear from you soon.
      Be safe and stay strong,
      NRS

  • #51
    So i am going to be 17 and I plan on leaving home no matter what if my parents report me as a runaway what else can the cops do other than make me go home? Also what can happen to someone if they are charged with harboring?

    Comment


    • ccsmod9
      ccsmod9 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,
      Thank you for writing to us here at National Runaway Safeline (NRS). We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. It seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.
      While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. These charges depend on every situation and can be handled differently by each police station. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.
      We are here as support to help through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email to assist you. If you would like to talk more in detail please call or chat soon.
      Our contact information is 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929); www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button).
      If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
      Be safe,
      NRS
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