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Are you considered a runaway if you are initially kicked out but asked to come back?

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  • Are you considered a runaway if you are initially kicked out but asked to come back?

    I'm 17 in Georgia. My parents initially kicked me out but are now sending confusing texts alternating from saying I should come back to saying I need to find a new home. I'm currently staying at a friend's house and I don't want to get them or me in legal trouble. Would I be in trouble for being in a runaway and/or would they be for kicking me out?

  • #2
    Hi,
    Thank you for reaching out. It sounds like you are in a confusing situation. We’re sorry to hear about what’s going on with you and your parents. We aren’t legal experts, but we can give some very general information about runaway laws. Since you are still considered a minor in Georgia, your parents could potentially be charged with neglect for kicking you out. Since you were kicked out, you would technically be considered a “throwaway,” rather than a runaway. In either case, it’s unlikely that you would face any legal consequences. In most situations, the police either let you be or return you home—assuming your parents decided to file a runaway report in the first place. If they do not file a runaway report, there would be no reason for the police to pursue you; on the other side of that, if you did not alert police that your parents kicked you out, it’s unlikely that your parents would face legal repercussions.
    Thank you again for reaching out. We hope this was helpful and we encourage you to reach out by phone if you need additional resources or need help figuring out your options. Our number is 1-800-786-2929 and our lines are always open. If you have a moment, we'd appreciate your feedback of our crisis services at the following link:
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think
    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

    Comment


    • #3
      I'm 17 years old, about to be 18 in 162 days, but today my boyfriend slept over and I guess my parents seen and they got mad so they kept calling me a slut and my mom told me I can leave with him and never come back, but I stayed cause I knew it was going to make everything worse. When he left my mom gave me the option to leave the house or send me away to Mexico or somewhere far, then she kept saying she didn't want to see me anymore and wanted me to leave because I disappointed them, so I left but I’m safe. I am staying with my older sisters, they're 21 and 25, all of a sudden my parents want me back and supposedly they will call the police. What do I do?
      Last edited by ccsmod4; 10-14-2020, 12:45 AM.

      Comment


      • ccsmod4
        ccsmod4 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello,
        Thank you for writing to us here at the National Runaway Safeline.

        We understand it takes great courage to reach out, and we appreciate you sharing a little bit about what’s going on. We’re sorry to hear about your situation. It sounds like you are in a tough situation at this time. We’re not legal experts but if your parent’s parents told you to leave than you probably won’t be considered a runaway and the police may just do a wellness check on your safety. You might explain what happened and they should be able to explain if there are any laws being broken.

        We hope that things work out the way you want them to. NRS is here to listen and here to help.
        We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. We can best help by phone or chat as NRS is unable to respond more than twice by email or bulletin for assistance. If you would like to talk more in detail and share more about how we can help specifically, 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 or seek emergency assistance immediately.

        Take care,
        NRS

    • #4
      If my parents kick me out then say I have to come back home am I obligated to come back

      Comment


      • ccsmod2
        ccsmod2 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thanks for reaching out to NRS. Asking for help isn’t easy and we’re glad you took that step. It sounds like you’re going through a tough time. You’re not alone. Your parents kicking you out of the house can be considered neglect because they are legally obligated to house you and care for you until you’re 18 years old. If you want to create an abuse report to document the situation, you can do so by calling Child Help USA at (800) 422- 4453 or you can call us at 1-800-786-2929 and we can help you file the report. You asked if you’re legally obligated to come back if your parents tell you to come home. We’re not legal experts here, but because your parents are the ones who kicked you out, they may not immediately file a runaway report so the authorities wouldn’t have a reason to look for you. However, if they do file a report and if you encounter the cops, they will most likely bring you back home. If you’d like to talk more about the situation, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can. We’re completely confidential.

    • #5
      My mother like kicked me out for the third time and reported me as a runaway, she’s abusive mentally and she used to be physically so I’m not going back but now the police are after me and since then I’ve been to my job and school, I’m just trying to get my life together but if I catch a case cause a got throw out I’m gonna be pissed! What the hell do I do? (I’m 16 btw)

      Comment


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 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 and you mentioned being harmed. We’re sorry you’re going through this. You don't deserve to be hurt in any way. If you are at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. You may also be able to report any mistreatment to CPS. Child Help USA 1-800-422-4453 www.childhelp.org is an organization that helps protect minors from being harmed. They can tell you more about how CPS could respond to your situation. If you ever need assistance calling out to CPS to make an abuse or neglect report please call is at 1-800-RUNAWAY.
        Often, having a safe space to share how you’re feeling may bring a variety of solutions previously not thought of. 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 chat soon through our website www.1800runaway.org (click on the chat button) if you are unable to call in. We unfortunately cannot give advice as we are non-directive. You know your situation best
        We hope to hear from you soon.
        Be safe,
        NRS

    • #6
      hi im 16 years old i live with my grandma who has had legal custody of me but she kicked me out because i called her out for being abusive and toxic im currently staying with my mom but she doesnt have custody of what do i do i dont wanna go back to my grandma but i need to figure out something

      Comment


      • ccsmod1
        ccsmod1 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there,

        Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about what’s been going on, we know that it takes a lot of courage. It's very worrisome to hear that your grandma is not properly providing a safe home for you! Just so you know, as your legal guardian she has the responsibility to house you, and her failure to do so can be considered neglect. You have the right to report this to child protective services if you'd like. You can find out more about reporting by going to childhelp.org. We can also help you file a report if that is the route you are considering.

        It may be beneficial to speak with your mom directly about your desire to live with her long term. Sometimes custody transfers will need to go through the family court system and it may be beneficial to speak with a legal advocate. If you need help locating a legal aid group near you you can check out https://www.lawhelp.org/find-help/.

        If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

        Stay safe,
        NRS

        We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

    • #7
      My family is kicking me out. Can the people I stay with get in trouble for me staying with them?

      Comment


      • ccsmod1
        ccsmod1 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there,

        If you go to stay at someone's house without prior permission from your parents, they could be charged with harboring a runaway, which is a misdemeanor. Penalties for harboring a runaway vary from state to state, police officer to officer, and how your parents view the situation.

        If your parents kick you out of the home then it can be considered neglect and you can file a report with Child Protective Services. You can learn more about this by going to childhelp.org. Unfortunately, we cannot continue correspondence via email or forum past 3 interactions. If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

        Stay safe,

        NRS

    • #8
      Im 15 and my mom kicked me out. We kind of had a physical fight before she kicked me out. Right now I'm staying with people I've known my whole life. When I got kicked out I walked over to a neighbors house to see if I could stay. He let me use his phone to contact people that I know. He also called my mom to see if it was okay to stay. My dad and my mom are split but my dad isn't really stable so i couldn't stay with him. I really don't want to go back because my mom is abusive and manipulative and mentally abusive. Would they be in trouble for me staying with them? And would I have to go back because my dad said so? Would I be considered a runaway? I really like where I am now and I'm happy with where I am and who I'm with.

      Comment


      • ccsmod1
        ccsmod1 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there,

        Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about what’s been going on, we know that it takes a lot of courage. It sounds like life at home is scary and you should be treated with love and respect from your mom. Absolutely no one deserves to be abused. If you are currently at risk of any danger or feeling unsafe, we encourage you to reach out to 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately. If any harm or abuse is happening at home, you have the right to report it. If you feel like this is an option you want to explore, you may find this website helpful: https://www.childhelp.org/child-abuse/. We can also help you to file a report if that’s the route you are considering. It may also be a good idea to explore options for staying with another family member or someone you trust as far as transferring custody.

        We aren't legal experts but generally speaking you are not considered a runaway unless your mother contacts the police to file a runaway 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 a runaway report is filed and you are located by the authorities you will most likely be returned home. That being said, if your mom was the one to kick you out of the home it can be considered neglect and you can contact Child Protective Services to report this.

        If you’d like to go over what’s going on in depth, or if you’d like to explore other options that you may have available to you, please don’t hesitate to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY. You can also chat us by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage. We’re open 24/7 and here to listen and support you in any way we can.

        Stay safe,
        NRS

        We'd love to hear from you about your experience using our crisis forum. Your feedback plays an important role in helping us improve our services to support youth and families. Please click the link below to fill out our survey: https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

    • #9
      Hi I just turned 17 i am from Oregon an my mom physically attacked me an is also using drugs, I was staying with a friend an my mom forced me to leave my friends house to go stay with a relative who is also on drugs. Since my mom kicked me out dose she have any right to tell me where I can stay? After she has already kicked me out? An forcibly make me live with someone who isn’t my other parent?

      Comment


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thank you for reaching out to us and sharing a little bit about what's going on. We are very sorry to hear you have been abused by your mom and there are drug problems with some relatives of yours going on. That's something you shouldn't have to deal with and it's certainly not your fault. It's up to you, but if you want to make an abuse report about what's going on that is always an option. You can do that through us, through www.childhelp.org (1-800-422-4453), or in Oregon by calling 1-855-503-7233. But again, it's totally your decision if you want to report or not.

        We cannot say for certain if your mom can force you to live with another relative or not. In all likelihood, if Child Protective Services found out the relative you are being asked to stay with is abusing drugs they very well may get involved. But if they don't know and if you don't want to file an abuse report it's possible (though we don't know for sure) that if you refuse to live where your mom is asking you to live that she could file a runaway report on you. There's just some uncertainty as to what the local laws are and we are not legal experts.

        Two options you have to get a firmer answer to your question: 1) you could call the local police non-emergency number and ask them -- however if you mention drug abuse they will likely ask you further questions to obtain information, 2) you could call a legal aid resource in Oregon and ask them what your legal rights are under the circumstances you describe. A couple legal aid resources in Oregon that you can reach out to are:

        Legal Aid Services of Oregon
        (503) 224-4086

        New Avenues for Youth
        1 (800) 995-7936

        We hope this information and the resources we provided above are able to help. If you'd like to talk to us further about the situation -- or anything else on your mind -- you can always call our confidential 24 hour hotline at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or chat with us via the chat feature a the top of our website: www.1800runaway.org. We have a large number of other resources in our database should you need them, things like shelters, counseling, and the like. We hope to hear from you soon!

        Stay safe,
        NRS

    • #10
      (This takes place in both Missouri and Illinois)
      My second cousin (A) has been kicked out of his house by his mother, my cousin (B). We’ve kept in contact as he has been staying at friends’ houses, but a few months ago he was brought to his grandma, my aunts house (C). A has been staying at C’s house since November of 2020, and today B just found out that A was staying at C’s house. They are worried B is going to try to cause a fuss and call the police. A was 16 when he first started living with C, but has since turned 17. A was never asked to come back and live with B. I was wondering if A and C would be found guilty if B were to do anything. Also, B is the kind of person to make up information and lie to make her seem like a victim.

      Comment


      • ccsmod3
        ccsmod3 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there. Thanks for contacting us here at NRS. We know that it can be difficult to see someone we care about having a tough time, and we commend you for trying to determine the best ways to offer support.

        Generally speaking, if a minor is kicked out and ends up going elsewhere, if at any point a runaway report or missing persons report is filed (or mom just says they have to come home), they may find themselves in a position where things get a little sticky. Unfortunately because situations like this can be full of nuances, it's probably in A & C's best interests to connect with a legal professional for support to ensure each potential issue is appropriately considered and addressed.

        If you'd like to chat more about the situation or encourage A to do so, please feel free to reach out to us directly by calling 1-800-RUNAWAY or by chat through our website at www.1800runaway.org. We're available 24/7 and are always happy to listen, and to help.

        Take care.

        NRS

    • #11
      I am 16 years old, my parents kicked me and my 18 year old sister out but now say that they agreed they want me to go back home. My grandmother does not have legal guardianship of me but had permission from my parents and has been taking care of me ever since. I do not want to go back home as it’s caused me many mental heath issues and the household is very toxic. I would like to know what my legal options are.

      Comment


      • ccsmod9
        ccsmod9 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for contacting NRS,
        We are sorry to hear you are going through some mental health issues caused by your family and extended family. You should not have to feel as though where you live is not a healthy environment. You mentioned needing legal options for the situation you find yourself in. Some things to keep in mind are that technically you are still considered a minor under the law meaning your parents have a say in where you can and cant go. If your parents agreed to let your grandparents take you then legally they have given consent to your grandparents to take you in. They dont need to sign a legal form just as long as they have given the okay to your grandparents to take you in. You mentioned that at your grandparent's place you feel as though it is very draining on your mental health. If those things involve mental, emotional or physical abuse you can choose to report child abuse either with us here at NRS or Childhelp (www.childhelp.org ; (800-422-4453) which is another organization that helps report abuse. Another option that might help get you out of where you're at is emancipation. Emancipation is a process through the courts that tell the state you are ready to be an adult before turning 18. This process requires you to seek out a lawyer and have things set in place beforehand like a job, place to live (that isnt your parents), being able to finish school, or even things like bills (insurance, phone bill, etc.). We can help find you those types of lawyer if that is something you wish to do.

        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

    • #12
      My mother kicked me out saying she doesnt care about me and doesnt want me anymore, she has done this before but this time seems real. What can I do? Am I able to go stay with a friend. She said that I'm never allowed at her house again and my grandparents are letting me spend the week with them. I'm 17 gonna turn 18 at the end of the year

      Comment


      • ccsmod5
        ccsmod5 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thanks for reaching out, we hope to help as best we can. When a parent or legal guardian kicks out a youth from their home, it is considered neglect which is a form of abuse. It is illegal for your mother to have kicked you out without having made arrangements for you, such as making sure you were safe at a friend or family members house. You could report this to Child Protective Services is you would like, reaching out to Child Help USA at 1-800-422-4453 or www.childhelp.org may help to get a better understanding of what may happen before and after a report is made. Another option is choosing to stay with someone you trust, you would not get in any trouble for staying elsewhere but if the situation is not reported your mother may try to report you as a runaway if she changes her mind. Still, running away is not a crime and you would not be in any legal trouble either way. If you have any other questions, please reach out to us via chat or call. We hope this helps!


        Stay safe,
        NRS
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