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17, TX, wondering

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  • ccsmod0
    Re: 17, TX, wondering

    We’re glad that you have continued to reach out to us! Sounds like you have put a lot of thought into what you would need to be safe if you choose to runaway. It is good that have enough basic supplies to last you at least a month. You ask some good questions, although, we are not able to answer some of these questions for you. We will answer what we can and give some options that maybe more suitable to get your answers from.

    It is understandable that you would want to make sure that it is safe to call here, especially if you feel your mother will be reviewing the phone bill statement. 1800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) is a toll-free number that you can call from any phone (even a payphone). You are welcome to call your phone company, but we are not able to confirm how the phone bill shows call history.

    Greyhound would be able to provide a definite answer as to how old a person would need to be to purchase a bus ticket and/or board one of their buses. They can be reached at 1800-231-2222 or email at: mailto:[email protected]. Greyhound also has a website that you may find helpful in answering your bussing questions: ... lInfo.aspx.

    We are also not able to confirm about emails or social websites. These again would be something that you would need to contact directly. Most email providers and social websites will have a place to click on their page for help or contacting them.

    It sounds like you have considered a place to stay, but it is also good that you have a back up plan. Most shelters require consent from your parents within 24-48 hours of you arriving there. If you identify any allege abuse and/or neglect then the shelter is mandated to report this to Child Protective Services (CPS). With this information, CPS will determine their next step. The next step could be taking the information and creating a case for you if any other reports are made. Or it could be doing an investigation to see what support the family needs. CPS will usually tell you what they will do with the report and you can also ask. You can also make a report again if you are identifying abuse at home. CPS for Texas does have a website if you would like more information about their services: We here at the National Runaway Switchboard can also make reports to CPS with you by doing a conference call (three-way call) if you feel comfortable.

    We are a completely confidential, non-judging 24/7 crisis line. With calling here, we can help in processing through possible options; help provide resources and also making conference call (three-way calls) to other agencies and services. We are here to listen whenever you feel comfortable in calling us at 1800-RUANAWAY (786-2929). We look forward in talking with you and wish you the best!


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    Guest replied
    Re: 17, TX, wondering

    Thanks so much for your quick response, sorry for my slow one.

    My food would last a couple weeks, but I have plenty of money for more if I need it. My supplies (shampoo, soap, etc) would last more than a month, enough time for me to be where I'm going. My money would last more than a few months, if I was totally supporting myself and unable to get a job. I'm pretty sure I have a place I could go.

    Are there any of those numbers that won't show up on the phone bill (if my mother looks at the numbers called, as she frequently does)? Does 1-800-runaway show up on the phone bill? I really want to call, but I can't if the number will show up.

    How old do you have to be to purchase a bus ticket? To board a bus?

    Do email providers (gmail, yahoo, msn, etc), under any cirucumstances, divulge emails to parents of missing children? If the emails have been deleted? What about myspace or facebook?

    Are there shelters for homeless youth that do not require parental consent or notification? Not just in Texas, but also in other parts of the country?

    I'm to ask so many questions, but I really want to weigh all of my choices and the circumstances before I do anything.

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  • ccsmod2
    Re: 17, TX, wondering

    Thank you for contacting the National Runaway Switchboard with your questions. It seems like you are well prepared and have a well thought out plan but that you need some final answers to your legal questions. Hopefully, we will be able to direct you to the right places.

    You stated in your bulletin that you had enough food, money, etc…to leave. How long do you think your supplies will last? Will you be able to stay in your planned location for an extended period of time? You also asked if your parents would be able to file a runaway or missing persons report. Since it seems that the age of majority varies from county to county in TX, we are unable to answer this specifically. Generally, once a youth is considered to be the age of majority, their parents can no longer file a runaway report.

    You also asked a question about re-enrolling in school because your education is important to you. Will you be staying somewhere that is in a different school district? Under the McKinney-Vento Act, all youth have the right to attend school. In Texas, you can contact Ms. Barbara James at the Office of Education of Homeless Children and Youth in Austin. You could also ask your current school or any lawyer/legal practice what the policies and procedures would be. You are also welcome to call us here at 1-800-RUNAWAY to discuss this option more in-depth.

    We have tried to include as many possible resources as we could for you. Again, if you would like more specific information, please contact us here to discuss it more in depth.

    There is a Legal Aid of Northwest Texas located in Fort Worth. They are available Monday-Friday from 8:00 AM until 5:00 PM. There phone number is (817) 336-3943; they also have a website ( which is available 24 hours a day. This service is free and they do not require parental or guardian consent.

    There is also one located in Dallas called Legal Aid of North West Texas. They have a local hotline number (888-529-5277) which is available from 8:30 AM until 5:30 PM Monday through Friday and their website is

    The Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program is located in Harris County; their number is (713) 228-0732 and their website is They can be reached from 8:30 AM until 4:30 PM.

    Finally, there is the Lonestar Legal Aid located in Waco. They also have a local hotline number (800-299-5596) and a website ( They are available between 8:00 AM and 5:00 PM.

    You can also contact your local police department and ask them any questions you may have. You can do this anonymously.

    Hopefully, we have been able to help you answer any questions you may have had. We are glad that you found our website to be so helpful!

    If you have any other questions, please contact us here. We are confidential and anonymous. We are also available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. We look forward you helping you.


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    Guest started a topic 17, TX, wondering

    17, TX, wondering

    I'm 17, I'm living with my family in Texas. I know that in some counties in Texas I can legally leave, but others I can't. Is there a website listing which counties I am legally allowed to leave home? If I am in a county allowing this, and I leave the state, or the county, can my parents file a missing persons or runaway child report?

    If I am allowed to leave, is there a way I can re-enroll in school? My education is very important to me.

    I'm fully prepared (plenty of money, a place to go, food, clothes, etc) to leave, and have fully considered the repercussions. I have many reasons I would like to leave, which I'm not going to discuss, they are justified, and I don't need to talk about them. I just need to understand the legality of this. I'm not going to leave knowing that I can be sent back, that would be pointless.

    I understand you are not lawyers, but if you can, please direct me to where I can get information. Thank you so much. This website is a blessing.
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