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when i turn 18

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  • when i turn 18

    what happens to a person that runs away from a dss group home when they turn 18? i read this on one of the other posts:

    Runaway Report/Record: "Once a youth turns 18, a runaway report is usually void. It may still show that you had a runaway report when you were a minor if someone specifically looked it up, but to the best of our knowledge this doesn’t go on a permanent record. Since running away isn’t illegal, just a status offense (at least in most states), it’s just something you’re not supposed to do as a minor. It’s highly unlikely that a job would be able to find out that you were reported as a runaway as a minor, since it most likely won’t come up in a background check. If the runaway report turns into a missing person report, all you have to do to get these off is go to the police, prove who you are and that you’re safe/okay, and the missing person’s report goes away."

    but what if you had a chins thinggy i dont even know what it is but i went in front of a judge and i signed a paper saying "i will go to school or have a full time job, i will cooperate fully with program and dss, and i will not runaway" because i ranaway b4... but i did all that except for the i will not runaway part. does it even matter cause a chins is a "child in need of services" and when im 18 im no longer a child... and what if they put a runaway warent, does that even exzist?? all i wanna kno is am i gunna be totally free when in 18? people keep saying i could do jail time when im 18 but you stated above that "Since running away isn’t illegal, just a status offense (at least in most states), it’s just something you’re not supposed to do as a minor" and is all this confidential??

  • #2
    Re: when i turn 18

    Thanks so much for writing in and sharing a little bit about your situation with us. First question we want to answer is that we are a completely confidential hotline and that is also the case for our bulletin boards. Even if you were to put identifying information in your post we would make sure to edit or take that out before we posted your question. It sounds like many of the questions you have are more legal based and while we can give you some of the information that we know, we are not able to tell you for sure what the consequences would be because every situation is different, and we are not legal experts. Now you mentioned that you are a ward of the state and in DSS custody. Where were you staying when you ran away? Did you leave from a group or foster home? While in most states the age of majority is 18, some cases can be different based on the circumstances. For example in some states youth who are wards of the state will be in DSS custody until they are 21, which means your case worker would still technically be your legal guardian. Do you have a case worker that you could talk with? Would they be able to clarify the situation and perhaps they would be able to tell you if you are free to leave at the age of 18 or still considered to be in DSS custody? Have you spoken with anyone else about the situation or gotten there thoughts? The other thing that may make your situation unique is that you signed a chins petition and that could possibly make your situation different. Do you know for a fact that someone has made a runaway report on you? Did you ever speak with a case worker about what would happen after you turned 18 and if you would be out of the system? Is there anyone that you feel safe speaking with about the situation? Perhaps you could have someone call your case worker and get information without her knowing where you are? Are you in a safe situation at the moment and do you have a safe place to stay? If you feel you want to talk more in depth about this situation you can always give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY. As said before we are a completely confidential hotline and there is someone here to talk 24 hours a day. If you wanted to discuss some of your options and even find specific legal resources that may be able to help we would be happy to help you with that. In the meantime stay safe and you can always write back or give us a call.
    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 want to know, I ran away at 14 and I’m now 18. I am a legal adult and want to know what can the police do, ask, or say?


      • ccsmod15
        ccsmod15 commented
        Editing a comment
        Thank you for contacting National Runaway Safeline. We’re not legal experts, but typically, once you are considered a legal adult, you’re able to make your own decisions regarding where and with whom you live. Generally, anything that is legal for the police to do, ask, or say to legal adults would apply to yourself as well. If there are specific questions or subjects that are of concern, we can help to identify legal resources in your area that would be more capable of addressing your concerns. Please contact us at 1-800-RUN-AWAY (786-2929) or via live chat at We’re here 24/7 and hope to hear from you soon. Best of luck!
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