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I’m 17 in fostercare in missouri

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  • I’m 17 in fostercare in missouri

    I'm 17 years old and I live in Missouri in a foster home. I want to leave on my own and quit living how I've been living my whole life - trapped, used, controlled, molded. I want to know if I could do that without anyone's consent since I'm 17, Or would I have to hide out until I'm 18 if I leave? i just wanna leave i’m so tired of being unhappy and i hate being controlled and feeling like i’m on a leash. what do i do if i don’t run at this point?

  • #2
    Hi there,

    Thank you so much for reaching out! We understand it takes a lot of courage to reach out and seek help. It really sounds like you haven’t felt supported in your current living situation, and no youth deserves to feel that way.

    We aren't legal experts, but running away or leaving home is not illegal, but until you are 18, it is considered a status offense. If your guardians were to file a runaway report and the police picked you up, they could return you back. However, every police officer handles these situations differently. Some may choose not to return you home and instead check for safety, but it truly comes down to the person you work with. It could be a good idea to reach out to your non-emergency police line and anonymously ask them how they may handle you situation. We would be happy to support you in this by either calling with you or on your behalf. You can reach us by phone at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or chat with us through our website (

    Our hopes are that by giving you this information you can make the most informed decision that you feel is best for your situation. If you decide you still would like to leave, it could be a good idea to think about what your housing, money, and school situations would look like. If you need help talking through any of this or need help locating any shelter options we would be glad to help you safety plan and connect you with resources. You can give us a call or chat with us at any time, we are open 24/7.

    We truly appreciate your post, and we hope this information helped.

    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!


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