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running away while a ward of the state

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  • #61
    Hi I am 21 years old and I have a little sister that turned 16 in January and she's in the foster system but she's asking me if she ran away from her foster home for 78 hours the police will stop looking for her. Is that true.

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    • 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 sounds like you care a lot about your sister and are concerned for her safety and well being. We aren’t legal experts here at NRS, but generally speaking, her legal guardians (foster parents, etc.) can file a runaway report at any point, which is essentially a missing person report. Running away is a status offense; this means that it isn’t illegal, but it’s something can’t be done while still a minor. If a runaway report is filed and she is located by the authorities, she will most likely be returned to your foster home.

      It is worth mentioning that if she is found with you, you could be charged with harboring a runaway, which is a misdemeanor. Penalties for harboring a runaway vary from state to state, police officer to officer, and how her legal guardians view the situation. There is no set time limit for when police will stop looking for a runaway but it may be helpful to call out to your local nonemergency police line (311) to see what procedure is in your community.

      If you or your sister would 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

  • #62
    I'm 17 years old and a ward of the state since I was 12. I turn 18 in 2 months. Can i run away and not be taken back to my home or back into care. Please help me.

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    • 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. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. From what we understand about the situation yes you would be brought back into custody of the state. The state is basically your guardian and have to make sure you are being taken care. 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 911 or seek emergency assistance immediately.
      We hope to hear from you soon.
      Be safe, NRS
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