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Ran away from an abusive foster home

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  • Ran away from an abusive foster home

    I'm 16, and I live in West virginia. On June 4th, 2015, I got taken from my home. My mother and I got into an argument. She didn't hit me, or even touch me. My grandmother called the police on me because I tried to leave with a friend. The police came, and then a cps worker came. The cps worker told my mother that I said she was abusive everyday. My mother got mad and told them to take me. My mother didn't hurt me at all. She called me a few names, but I called her names too. My first foster home wasn't bad. My second home was hell. At first, the woman treated me really nice, and then she started making me clean everything. Even the toilet. I was threatened by the other girls, my stuff was stolen and tour up by the other girls. I wasn't aloud to call my cps worker. I had a worker from necco that knew how they were treating me, but it was out of his hands. The last three days i was starved, and I could barely go pee without being watched. I was called names, and the only time I ate was at school. My real mother and father always treated me good. I got everything and I needed and wanted. I've been on the run now for almost 2 weeks. My main concern, is that at 17, will i be legally free? In west virginia a teenager can move out, and even quit school if the parent allows it. I was basically kidnapped from my parents. Also, if i get caught, what rights would i have? Would I go to juvie, or be returned to my parents? Would I have to remain in state's care? Could i enroll at a school in another state? or would cps get involved? Also, am I allowed to be in a non-sexual relationship with an 18 year old, even though I'm a run away? Or would he get in trouble too?

  • #2
    re: Ran away from an abusive foster home

    Hey there,

    Thank you for being able to reach out to us here at the National Runaway Safeline, it seems like you are going through a pretty tough time at this point in your life. We want you to know that we are here to listen and to help in the best way that we can. From what you shared, it definitely sounds like you have been through a lot.

    You ask a lot of great questions and we’re glad that we are a resource that you think of while in crisis. We do want to let you know that we are not legal experts here, which means that we are only able to speak generally about your situation. If you are ever in need of shelter or a place to stay, please feel free to reach out to us. We are here 24/7 and have a large database with plenty of resources throughout the country. In most states, at 17 you are still considered a minor, which means that your foster parents or case worker are able to file a runaway report. If you were found, typically you would be forced to go back to your foster home or to a group home. Running away isn’t necessarily illegal, it is considered a status offense, which means that you would not be arrested unless you are on some type of parole or probation. As for the situation with your boyfriend, it seems like the only trouble he would get in would be if he was harboring you. In most states, there is a law called “harboring a runaway” meaning that if someone is letting you stay with them, they could potentially be charged and the charges vary from fines to jail time. Once again, we do want to state that we are not legal experts here which means that the information we provided is what we generally know and what typically happens. If you would want more sturdy answers, please feel free to reach out to us and we would be able to provide you with a legal resource that would be able to tell you more about what could happen.

    We hope that we were able to let you know a little more about what we do and explain our services. We want you to know that our lines are open 24/7 and we can be reached at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929). We also have a live chat program that is available every day from 4:30 PM until 11:30 PM CST. We wish you the best of luck and hope to hear from you soon.

    Stay strong,

    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!


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