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  • Runaway from a group home

    I am 17 years old and I turn 18 in 41 days from now. I live in a group home and every time someone runs away the house staff has to make an AWOL report which means they contact the police and my caseworker. I want to stay on the run until I turn 18 because then I can't get in any legal trouble. I have a plan of leaving at least a week before October 23 because that is the day my current bus pass expires. At that point it will only be 28 days before I'm 18. I'll only have about $15 on me. I plan on staying at an abandoned house I know about and it's about a 30 minute drive from the group home. I'll use the $15 for a couple weeks worth of food and drink from the dollar store. I have a couple of very close friends that live in the neighborhood near the abandoned house. They already know about my plan and they'll help me out if I do go through with it. The reason I want to leave my group home is because I don't get along with the people I live with and I almost got in a physical fight with one of them today. I don't want to risk the chance of getting any assault charges before I'm 18. I just need advice if my plan is worth it or not.

  • #2
    Re: Runaway from a group home

    Hello,
    Thank you for taking the time to write to us here at the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you have been having some issues at your group home and instead of waiting for things to get out of hand you would rather leave. It is understandable why you would want to leave a place where you are getting into fights with other residents. It sounds like you have given the thought of running away some thought and have a plan of where you would go. You mentioned that you are planning on staying in an abandoned house until you are 18. We are wondering what your plans are after you turn 18. At this time you will be considered an adult and some of your options maybe come limited.
    One though we had is that you could get in touch with your case worker about the issues that you have been having at the group home. Your case worker might be able to resolve the issue with the person and if not them maybe you two can look into alternative housing options.
    We are not going to tell you that you should or should not runaway. We are here to try to provide you with support and resources so that if you do decide to leave home, you are doing it intelligently and safely. We cannot tell you what to do because no one knows what’s best for you than you. So if running away is something that you really want to do then you are more than welcome to give us a call and we can talk about all of your options and help you come up with a safety plan. 1-800-RUNAWAY
    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 stay in a group home . the staff treat us wrong and the peers try to jump on people i am 17 i have been asking my caseworker since September 28 to get me out and i'm still here this year i can't do this anymore i feel like i'm a lone i want to run away but i'm scared i really need to leave here tho.
      Last edited by ccsmod10; 03-12-2018, 05:09 PM. Reason: ID info

      Comment


      • ccsmod10
        ccsmod10 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi there,

        Thanks for reaching out to us through our forum! It sounds like you’re going through a tough time and living in a toxic environment, we’re here to help in any way we can.

        You mentioned that you’re being mistreated at the group home that you live in, both by staff and other youth. Wherever home is, it should always be a safe place for you. It’s understandable that you’re wanting to get away from that environment. If you ever feel like your safety is in jeopardy, you have the right to call police and ask them to do a wellness check. If you need our help calling out to the police, we offer conference calling services. So if you want us to call with you, we are happy to help.

        If you decide that leaving the group home is the right option for you, we can help you find runaway shelters in your area for you to stay. Your safety is really important to us, so please don’t hesitate to call if you do need somewhere to stay.

        Again, thank you for reaching out to us for help. You do not have to go through this alone and we are always here to help in any way we can. Our safeline is open 24/7.

        Stay safe, NRS

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

    • #4
      I am from a group home and i am in dss custody and i will be 16 april 28th and im thinking about leaving april 26th can they do anything about that??

      Comment


      • ccsmod0
        ccsmod0 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hello,
        Thank you for reaching out to us. Your question is very similar to the previous post on this thread. We would like to direct your attention to the replies above. If you have any other questions please feel free to give us a call. 1-800-786-2929
        We hope this information helps
        Best wishes,
        NRS

    • #5
      I just ran away from my group home 3 days ago because i was told that they were going to send me off to a lock-down facility until i turn 18. I'm 16 at the moment and don't turn 18 for another year and a half but i have been a ward of the state since august . i was put into the dcs custody in august 2018 due to family issues and previous to getting put in the home i did not get into any legal trouble. i truly don't believe that i deserve to be sent to this scary place, the only reason i ran away because i was terrified to be put into that place after hearing all of the stories and i don't think i did anything bad enough to be sent away to a horrible place for so long. i have a little bit of time before i turn 18 and i have no where to go until then and i don't want to be on the run. i wanted to know what options i have and what to do so i don't get put into the lock-down place or get in more trouble for leaving but i only left out of fear for my well-being.

      Comment


      • ccsmod3
        ccsmod3 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi, thank you so much for reaching out. It sounds like you're in a really confusing and stressful situation, but you aren't in this alone. We are here to help. The prospect of being sent to such a facility is definitely really scary and you have a right to feel scared. We would be happy to discuss options with you like shelters, transitional living programs, talking with a caseworker, etc., over the phone or on chat. We're available over the phone 24/7 at 1800RUNAWAY. Most shelters require notification and/or consent of a parent/government agency (aka DCFS) for you to stay there after a certain period of time or even immediately. We can look up whether a shelter requires this for you over the phone or on chat any time. If you can TXT 4 HELP is a nationwide, 24-hour text-for-support service for teens in crisis. If you’re in trouble or need help, text SAFE and your current location (address, city, state) to 4HELP (44357) for immediate help/a place to go. Thank you again for reaching out.

    • #6
      I want to run away I am 15,I have serious depression,I have no money,and I was currently moved 14 to 16 hours away from my home.I don't have anybody and I don't have a phone.The stress of the group home is a lot and there is a lot of fights with other girls.What do I do?What do i need to take with me?

      Comment


      • ccsmod1
        ccsmod1 commented
        Editing a comment
        Hey there,

        Thanks so much for contacting us, it takes a lot of courage to reach out and share your story. It must be really hard to live in a group home where there’s so much tension between all the residents. Additionally, moving away from all your friends without a phone to keep in contact has got to be frustrating. Running away is a big decision and it can be very stressful to figure out what you want to do.

        You mentioned that you are living in a group home, if you currently have a CPS worker who placed you there it may be worthwhile to try to reach out to them about your placement and how it’s affecting you. 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.

        It’s important to consider all the possibilities that can occur if you leave home. You will need to plan out how you will cover basic necessities like travel, food, clothing, etc. If you have a place to go in mind, it’s good to see what the expectations of the living arrangement will be like; rules, the amount of time you’re allowed to stay, if you’re expected to contribute financially, etc. This can all influence your decision to leave.

        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.

        All the best,
        NRS

    • #7
      I turn 18 soon and I’m a runaway from a group home and have a warrant. Will my warrant still be there when I turn 18?

      Comment


      • #8
        Reply: I turn 18 soon

        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 are not legal experts and cannot give information other than contacting a legal aid office about your situation. You might be able to locate the nearest legal aid office online.

        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.
        We hope to hear from you soon.

        Take care,
        NRS



        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


        • #9
          My boyfriend been on the run now ever since he was 16 , now he's 17 abouta be 18 in 3 months how much time would he get ? He was in a group home because he was in a unstable home but he didn't wanna be there no more how much time will he do ?

          Comment


          • ccsmod1
            ccsmod1 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hey there,

            Thanks so much for reaching out and sharing a little bit about what's going on, we know that it takes a lot of courage. We aren’t legal experts here at NRS, but generally speaking, whoever is the legal guardian of your boyfriend can file/could have already filed a runaway report, which is essentially a missing person 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. Assuming that your boyfriend was not on parole or probation, if he is located by the authorities he will most likely be returned to his guardian.

            Of course, it may be best if your boyfriend contacts us directly to discuss his situation in-depth and to explore other options that he may have available to him. We can be reached by calling 1-80-RUNAWAY or via chat by clicking on the “CHAT” button on top of our homepage.

            Be safe,
            NRS

        • #10
          Im 16 and i ran-away, am i going to be ok when i turn 17

          Comment


          • ccsmod15
            ccsmod15 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi there, thanks for reaching out. It shows a lot of strength to reach out and talk about what is going on.
            We are not legal experts, but from what we understand, 18 is the legal age in most states. Leaving before 18 you can be considered a runaway up until the age of 18.

            You mentioned you ran away and are currently 16. You may consider if you think your parents filed a runaway report on you with police. It is not a crime to runaway, but they can file a report letting police know you are gone so if the police come into contact with you, you may be returned home.

            Again, reaching out is tough to do. Thank you for taking that step!

            We are here by phone (1-800-786-2929) and chat (at the top of this page) 24/7 so reach out to talk about more options or for resources to keep you safe.

        • #11
          GA
          I ran away from my group home today, they’re threatening to place a warrant on me if I don’t return tonight.
          I’m not going back for the sheer fact that they believe it’s okay to treat me like a slut and act as if I’m unable to think for myself.
          I’m 17, 18 in three months. What are the consequences and about how long will that warrant stay out?

          Comment


          • ccsmod9
            ccsmod9 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 seems there is a lot that you are faced with right now and you’re feeling like leaving is one of your only options. It seems you want to know some information on runaway laws.
            While we are not experts on the law, 18 is generally the age that an individual may leave home without parent permission. If you are under 18 and leave home, your parent/guardian may file you as a runaway and you may be returned home. Also, those you stay with may run the risk of being charged with harboring a runaway. For more specifics on the law, the local non-emergency police or legal aid may better answer legal questions.
            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
          im 17 and i leave in 70 days and im on probation if i run away from my group home 10 days before my birthday can i get violated and or when i turn 18 will i be out of the Governments hands??

          Comment


          • ccsmod7
            ccsmod7 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi there, thanks for reaching out today.

            Sounds like you are in a really difficult situation wanting to leave homw before you turn 18 and while on probation. We are not legal experts, but we can answer your questions generally and we truly want to help.

            Generally speaking, if you leave home right before you are 18 and you turn 18 on the run, you would no longer be considered a runaway in police's systems . However, if you leave home and violate your probation there could be legal consequences for violating your probation that still apply after you turn 18. You might reach out to your probation officer to find out what kind of consequences there would be if you were to leave home before turning 18.

            Please do not hesitate to call or chat us if you would like to talk through your situation or need help looking for resources. We are here for you 24/7.

            Best,

            NRS

        • #13
          Hey I'm a run away and I'm ran away from a group home I'm 13 and the only reason I ran is because my moms heart is really bad Whear she has to live on meds and I just want to be with he if anything happens and the group home is bad Whear I stayed it is the worst one I been in one it seems nice at first but then the staff are mean and some of them hit the heack out of me and treat me wit stuff like don't tell but I just want to be back Whear I belong my mom is married and takes care of my sis so I'm good to be thair Whear I'm safe but if I go back my mom can't get me because she can't be put in stressful things. So if some one hears me

          Comment


          • ccsmod15
            ccsmod15 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi there,

            We are sorry to hear about your mom and the problem's you've had in the group home. We'd like to help but probably need a bit more information from you to do that. The best way for us to assist you is if you give us a call at 1-800-RUNAWAY or chat with us online via our website: www.1800runaway.org. We can help you brainstorm ideas as to what your best options might be. We're here 24/7 and are confidential and non-judgmental.

            Please stay safe! We hope to hear from you soon!

            NRS

        • #14
          My boyfriend just turned 18 last month he ran from a group home when he was 16 but he wasn’t on probation or nothing he was in a group home because his family got kicked out of their home but if he went to the dmv would he still go to jail if he try’s to take his papers out ?

          Comment


          • ccsmod13
            ccsmod13 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi there,

            Thanks for reaching out to NRS. We are no legal experts by any means, but from what we know once someone reaches the age of majority (18 in most states except for Mississippi, Nebraska, and Alabama) they are considered a legal adult. This means that your boyfriend is no longer considered a runaway and he has the legal freedom to choose where he lives. Even if your boyfriend was still under the age of majority, running away is not illegal or something he would go to jail for.

            We hope this answers your question. Please do not hesitate to reach out again by phone or chat if you have any other questions or concerns.

            Good luck,
            NRS

        • #15
          Hi so I have a question, my boyfriend is going to be 17 1/2 when he gets out of a lockdown facility. He got locked up at 16. They won’t let him go with any of his family members because of false claims that were made when he was 13 at the time to cps. Now after spending 6-8 months being locked up they want him to stay in a group home till he’s 18. So he’ll have court cases etc. but when he gets released to the group home I was planning on picking him up an him living with me and my family till he’s 18 an then we’d leave out of state. But I was wondering if he went to court before he turns 18 if he would be arrested ?

          Comment


          • ccsmod13
            ccsmod13 commented
            Editing a comment
            Hi there,

            Thank you for contacting NRS and sharing a little bit about you and your boyfriend's situation. We are not legal experts, but we can share some information from what we know of runaway laws. If your boyfriend is mandated to live in a group home and he leaves, they would likely have him reported as a runaway. Running away itself is not illegal, but it could have more severe consequences if your boyfriend is already dealing with legal issues or if he is on probation. We cannot say for sure if your boyfriend will be arrested at a court hearing as we are not sure what the specifics of his situation are. It does sound like your boyfriend could be at risk of legal consequences or violating a probation should he leave the group home or miss court dates.

            If you or your boyfriend would like to talk more in detail about what is going on and explore possible options, please call or chat with us anytime. You reach us at 1-800-786-2929 or chat with us at 1800runaway.org.
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