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17 year old California- how can I become an independent?

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  • 17 year old California- how can I become an independent?

    I’m 17 years old in California and the situation has been really rough at home. My father was physically abusive when I was younger, but has gotten better. Recently he lost his job and he has been starting fights and he’s been saying things that are very emotionally traumatizing, calling me a slut for being on birth control, among other things. One year ago i called cps and they said they would process my situation and never called me back.
    I have read through this form, I understand you cannot give legal advice, but my father said that he will not sign off on loans or financial aid for my college, and i realized i must become an independent. My plan was to get emancipated but i understand that is near impossible. Is taking my parents to court for emancipation a probable option? I have a legal job and my family is currently on medicare, is there anyway I can voluntarily go into the foster care system then stay with a friend? I know if I go into the foster care system i become an independent and can continue going to college, but i also know the foster care system can take someone out of school. I want to finish my last year but still be able to go to college and receive financial aid. If you do not know the answers can you refer me to some place i can call? The local police station works separate from foster care institutions so i don’t think i can call there.

  • #2

    Thank you for reaching out to us; we are glad that you did. It sounds like your situation is getting more scary and dangerous with your dad having a history of physical abuse, and the added stress of him losing his job and taking it out on you. None of this is fair, and you don’t deserve any of this.

    And you have been intelligent and responsible, getting yourself on birth control; doing a lot of research, and reading through this forum. You are asking intelligent questions, but there are a lot of them and your situation is more complex than can be answered in a public forum. You deserve to be helped; you deserve to be safe and to look toward your future. We can search for resources in your local area, we can help you in a way that addresses your particular questions.

    By talking together, we may be able to discuss options you haven’t thought of yet. You have been so brave and resilient, and we are very sorry that the CPS investigation didn’t go through. You didn’t deserve that. If you call in, we can do conference calls to resources with you. If you use the chat service, we can call for you and ask your questions. We are here for you to listen and help.

    And the best way for us to help you is by having a conversation with you either through our phone hotline or via live chat. You can reach us at 1800-786-2929 (1800-RUNAWAY) or chat at We are here 24/7 and all of our services are confidential.

    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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