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Can Foster Parents Get in Trouble for Simply having a Runaway over at their Home?

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  • Can Foster Parents Get in Trouble for Simply having a Runaway over at their Home?

    Hey there All, so Recently I’ve began seeing a 17 Year Old whose had what seems to be a rough upbringing, Foster Child whose Foster Parents don’t seem to be there for her (I’ve heard stories but haven’t interacted with them much)

    recently she began staying at a friends house for what she seems to want to be the foreseeable future, Parents want her put in a foster home, While her Friends Parents Have Set her up in their home

    but anyway onto my question-This morning I’m out for a walk and the parent pulls up next to me, asking about where she was, if I’ve seen her- and eventually says

    ”It would be a Shame if those Babies were taken away during all of this”
    (or something like that)

    she apparently thought she was staying at my house. Which is false-she does come over during the day

    So now Im just mostly paranoid, because my parents have two foster babies that we all love and adore-and I’d never forgive myself if they got in trouble/were taken away

    I hope some of this at least makes sense, can answer questions
    have just been panicking and worrying all of today-Found the forum and decided to post

  • #2
    Hi there, thanks for reaching out to us. We hope we can help.

    We are not legal experts, and so we cannot give you any legal information with any degree of certainty. We can let you know that generally, running away from home is considered a status offense, and is not likely to get a youth arrested or detained by the police. Those who harbor runaway youth are also may be criminally responsible for harboring runaway youth. However, this may differ where you live. We suggest calling your non-emergency police number in order to determine what runaway laws look like where you live. You can ask these questions anonymously and hypothetically.

    We can be reached at 1-800-786-2929.

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

    Tell us what you think about your experience!


    • #3
      I was arrested for running away by order of SCDSS. I was initially found giving birth at the hospital. After I signed discharge papers, DSS told them to arrest me for running away. My child was taken away from me because I least the hospital in handcuffs, and they placed him with his paternal great grandparents. After I was released from jail (no pain medications that were prescribed, forced to hand express my breast milk and dump out, and lost my child), it was because the judge “had no other choice” for some reason or other, I believe jurisdiction. Who knows. Either way, they then made me sign over custody to the same grandparents, who are the absolute last people I put on my relative references by the way, and they are just absolutely evil to me and always have been. I revoked any implied consent 7 days after DSS was given consent, but they said it just didn’t work like that because I was in foster care, what a load. Now, in aftercare transition services, they are refusing to help my brother and I by partnering with a Public Housing Authority under the Foster Youth Initiative, preventing homelessness. We are both being evicted, we have children, and we are struggling enough every single day, this is why children commit suicide. This is why. I just don’t understand how a system can retaliate against a child in their care for standing for themselves. How they can take those youths children. How they can receive all of this money for the youth and not give it to them.


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thank you so much for reaching out to us at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you are going through an impossibly difficult time right now, and we want to recognize your strength after what you have gone through.

        It sounds like you were wrongfully arrested for running away from your foster home. So we want to clarify that we are not legal experts and laws vary greatly case by case and regionally. However, one option you have is to reach out to your local law enforcement (non-emergency police) with hypothetical and anonymous questions to gauge your rights moving forward. Usually, running away is considered a status offense, meaning only illegal because of age, and the consequence is usually the minor being sent back to their guardians.

        In addition, it sounds like the department of social services is actively trying to deny you your rights and neglecting your physical and mental health. Know that you have options. An option you have to find resources specific to you would be to reach out to us through our 24/7 hotline (1-800-RUNAWAY), or our chat link from our website. Once we have your general location, we can help find you private social services, homeless shelters, and other organizations that would be able to help you.

        Also, you mentioned that your child is in the care of his paternal great grandparents, who you indicated have been abusive towards you. If you are concerned about the safety of your child, know that you can always reach out to ChildHelp, (, 1-800-422-4453), the National Child Abuse Hotline and they will also be able to provide information and resources to help you going forward.

        Again, know that we are always here to support you and that your wellbeing and the wellbeing of your child is our highest priority.

        Stay strong,
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