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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.

    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 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.

    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. 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

  • #63
    hey i have a chance i might be pregnant and i was wondering if i ran away would i get in trouble with my parents or the state?

    Comment


    • ccsmod1
      ccsmod1 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hey there,

      Thanks 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, if you do opt to leave your home your parents (or guardians) can file 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. If a runaway report is filed and you are located by the authorities you will most likely be returned to your parents/guardians. Runaway reporting does not change depending on if you are or aren't pregnant.

      Pregnancy and being uncertain about pregnancy can be really scary. It could be a good idea to reach out to Planned Parenthood by calling 800-230-7526 or by going to plannedparenthood.org. They can assist you with low or no-cost assistance with your reproductive health. They have a variety of services that can be helpful; comprehensive pregnancy testing, pap smears, cancer screenings, birth control, etc.

      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.

      Stay safe,
      NRS

  • #64
    I ran away from a foster home and they caught me about 3 months after I ran and once they put me into another foster home I ran again. I dont want to be in states custody. I want to live on my own. Its hard to live on my own at the moment though because im on the run and i cant get a job or even go out in public. I need help on how to fix all of this without being put back into states custody. Please help.

    Comment


    • ccsmod2
      ccsmod2 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello There,
      Thank you for contacting The National Runaway Safeline, we are here to help and here to listen. It sounds like you are going through a really difficult time right now. Living on your own can be difficult when you do not have the funds to support yourself and cannot be in public.
      We are not legal experts but in most states you would not be able to legally live alone unless you are 18 years old. You could consider emancipation, which would grant you adult rights before turning 18. To find out more about the emancipation process you can always contact your local court house. You can also always call us and we can try and provide you with legal resources. Another option is you could try talking with your case worker or case manager about what is going on that’s causing you to runaway.
      We hope this information will be helpful to you in your situation. If you have any other questions or would like to explore options please give us a call. We can also help you look for shelters or safe places to go if you need somewhere safe. We wish you the best of luck, stay strong you are not alone.
      NRS

  • #65
    I'm 15 in I ran away from fost care in I got a lot a goal ahead me what if I run to I'm 18?

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello,

      We’re really happy you reached out to us about your question. It sounds like you’re in a tough situation and wondering what you should do. Knowing the facts is always the first step to making sure you make smart and informed decisions. 

      Since you just ran away and you’re still considered a minor until you reach the age of majority of 18, your case worker will be obligated to file a runaway report. This means that if you were to be stopped by police or local law enforcement, they have their own policy of returning you to where you belong. This could mean taking you back to the group/foster home you ran from or keeping you in detention until you case worker is able to find you another placement within the system.
      Since you have already ran away from your placement, having a solid plan about what you are planning on doing for the next three years might be a good idea so that you can think about what is reasonably possible for you to do and want isn’t. It's certainly a huge jump to make and we want you to be as safe as possible when making your decisions.

      It’s hard to talk too just anyone one about what has been going on. Please rest assured that we are completing confidential. So anything that you share with us will stay between us. We don’t ask for any identifying information, unless you want to report any abuse. We certainly want to help you. The National Runaway Safeline is a 24 hour service so feel completely free to call at any time if you feel the need to do so.

      Good Luck!
      Last edited by ccsmod8; 07-24-2019, 11:17 AM.

  • #66
    Hi, so I am 17 years old and am turning 18 in the beginning of October. I am under the custody of DCFS and they have me labeled as "on the run." I was in what they call an "unauthorized placement," which was just my moms house. They let me stay there but things were going terrible, so I left. I live with a friend now and I want to get a job and get my GED when I am 18. But I am just concerned of the police maybe looking for me and finding me and taking me to a shelter until my case worker could put me in residential or something. (Which took 7 months) I am doing great without all the drama from family and the stress of DCFS not doing their job. I'm just super worried now. I've been "on the run" since about April, I just don't know what to do.

    Comment


    • ccsmod15
      ccsmod15 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there, thanks for reaching out! It sounds like you are in a really tough position, having to worry about DCFS, your mom, and wanting to complete your GED and get a job.
      You mentioned you will be 18 in a few months. In most states, 18 is the legal age of majority where you would no longer be under DCFS care. We are not legal experts, but from what we know, it depends on the police department whether or not they actively search for a 17 year old runaway. Some do, while others simply put your name on a list and it is only if they come into contact for you (like for a traffic violation or committing a crime) where they could run your name and see your status as a runaway.
      You can find your local non-emergency number at usacops.com and call and ask anonymously how they handle runaway situations. We can also conference call if you'd like some help in doing that.

      We are here 24/7 by phone (1-800-786-2929) and through live chat on our website here so you can reach out directly to talk more about your situation. We are confidential and anonymous so you never have to give your name or anything if you don't want to.

      Thanks again for posting! Call or chat anytime! Best of luck with the GED and job! Let us know if we can help further.

  • #67
    When I was 17 years old my grandma happened to lie to me telling me she had nothing to do with me when I was clearly at work she had told me I had court and it was 11:30 around lunch time so I said bul******** and this is while you have court and I said what if I don't go and she's like well if you do not go then they'll be consequences with you and the police the police will come and look for you and I said okay so I told my boss I would be back and so therefore I went to court and on June 28th they took me and placed me on her court-ordered and put me under protective placement and court ordered me to the state she signed me over to the state they took all my legal rights away and therefore my life's been ruined and so I've been on my own for two months but then they kicked me out for entering a strip club saying that I was in the wrong for going to one they've been using me they've been strict on me they won't let me hold my own social security card that won't help me look or find a job they won't help me get my license they only allow for me to get an hour out by myself in the community I am 20 years old and still have a guardian and I'm court ordered I need help get me out of this

    Comment


    • ccsmod0
      ccsmod0 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hello,
      Thanks for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It must be extremely frustrating to be technically and adult but still have a guardian like a minor. It sounds like your grandparents ae very controlling and are not supportive of you and your growth as an adult. Unfortunately the only way to change your status would be for you to go to court and be able to demonstrate o the judge that you are competent in handling your own affairs. Additionally another good first step could be to consult with a legal professional about your options.
      We hope this information helps
      Best wishes,
      NRS

  • #68
    I'm 17 and was wondering if I would get turned in if I went to the doctors while I have a runaway warrant . Im also supposed to be in foster care

    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. We want you to know that we are here as support to help you through this challenging time. After reading over your story you probably would not be able to file a doctor’s appointment as you need a guardian for that but more importantly you are within the states care so you probably would be turned in pretty quickly. 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

  • #69
    Hi, I am a 18 year old and I turn 19 in 4 months. I was living in the town I was placed in with my foster family, I ran away from there and was with several people throughout the two months I was a runaway. My social worker is very kind and understanding, but I’m concerned that my boyfriend whom she has met and likes very much may get in trouble because I am currently on the run from the shelter I was placed at. I’m not with him because of the fact I know that people looking for me know who he is, but will the police contact him immediately? Or will they have to contact my Social Worker first? He has supported me in a lot of ways and if it weren’t for his support I wouldn’t know what to do right now. The last thing I want is for him to get into any trouble he truly didn’t cause or isn’t involved in, and he definitely would not deserve that. Please help me understand what could happen and who decides that.

    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. Since you are not with your boyfriend there should be no reason for him to be in legal trouble because you ran away. We aren’t legal experts here at NRS, but generally speaking, since you left your placement, a runaway report can be filed by whoever is listed as your legal guardian, 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. If a runaway report is filed and you are located by the authorities you will most likely be returned to your placement. If you are staying with an adult, they 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 your legal guardian views the situation. The police may or may not talk to your boyfriend or your caseworker for information about your whereabouts but the order in which they would be contacted (or even if they would be contacted) would be up to the discretion of the officer taking the runaway report.

      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.

      Stay safe,
      NRS

  • #70
    Hi the state is talking about holding me until i'm 18. Can they not do this as long as I finish highschool? I'm a tad behind but I think i'll make it before i'm 18. So if I want to leave at 18 can they hold me in care??? because I really want to leave.

    Comment


    • ccsmod7
      ccsmod7 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there, thanks for reaching out today. Sounds like you are in-care and wanting to leave when you are 18, but worries that they will hold you. That sounds really stressful, and we truly want to be a support for you.

      We are not experts on being in-care but we can speak generally. If 18 is the majority age in your state and you are in-care, once you turn 18 you could still be in-care but they generally cannot force you to stay there. From our general understanding, once you are a legal adult you could still get extended benefits such as staying in a transitional living program or help with paying for college. However, if you are not wanting to stay in-care and you leave, it is possible that you would lose those benefits but they would not force you to return.

      We hope this information is helpful. Please call or chat us if you would like to talk through your situation: 1-800-RUNAWAY; www.1800runaway.org.

      Best,

      NRS

  • #71
    I don't want to be here and I'm supposed to stay here till I'm 18 I wanna leave too.

    Comment


    • ccsmod13
      ccsmod13 commented
      Editing a comment
      Hi there,

      Thank you for reaching out to NRS. It sounds like you are looking for a way to leave home before you turn 18. You know when it is best for you to leave. We are here 24/7 to help and talk with you about your next steps. If you leave home without the permission of your guardian, they can file a runaway report. Running away is not a crime and you would not be arrested. If the police know where you are, they will most likely return you home.

      We want to support you through this difficult situation. We would need to know more about what is going on to explore options with you. Please do not hesitate to reach out by phone (1-800-786-2929) or chat (1800runaway.org) to talk more about what is going on and discuss in more detail what you would like to do.

      Be safe,
      NRS.
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