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  • running away while a ward of the state

    Im 17 years old and committed to the state until im 19. i want to go traveling with my 18 year old boyfriend after i finish high school in january. my parents wont give me permission to go so i would have to run away to do this. please dont tell me why i shouldnt do this, i just want a clear answer on how the state would look for me, and what kind of trouble my boyfriend would get into if i was caught. i live in washington d.c.

  • #2
    Re: running away while a ward of the state

    Hello,

    Thank you for contacting National Runaway Switchboard for support and resources. We are a confidential crisis line and always look forward to serving you. Please tell us what resource we can provide you to help your situation for the better. It sounds like your mind is made up for what you intend to do after you finish high school. We are not in the position to tell you what to do but can offer options so we will never say you should or shouldn't do something. We offer support with our first priority being your safety.

    We are glad you wrote to us before graduated as it is sometimes helpful to have a place you call 24 hours day/7 days a week if you are ever in need of speaking to one of our liners. We are all trained the same way. What we can tell you only has to do with general laws for runaways. We are not legal experts. We do know that running away is not illegal although he does carry certain consequence that requires parents to file a runaway report in order to track you and protect themselves while you are on the run.

    The most you get is a status offense as a minor. This enables the police to take you home if you are found. It also depends on how far you are from home and always comes down to police discretion. There are moments where they can hold you in juvenile detention until you get the chance to see a judge. Although it is not illegal to runaway if you do, it is certainly illegal for anyone to harbor you as a runaway. It is considered contributing to the delinquency of a minor.

    It all depends on what actions your parents or guardians take towards your boyfriend since he is an adult and whether or not he helped to take you across state lines also. However, as a ward of the state, you may be getting into another category of what is expected by law to return you home. You may risk getting a warrant placed on your but that may depends on the conditions of your treatment plan.

    Have you thought about calling the local police station to speak with your caseworker to find out what it may all mean later? Laws do vary from state to state. The police may or may not come looking but there are no guarantees.

    -NRS
    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:


    National Runaway Safeline
    info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

    Tell us what you think about your experience!
    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

    Comment


    • #3
      the state wount acually look for u since your 17 i was a ward my self and ran at 16 dont worry bout it. ur bf will also be fine good luck

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Running Away While A Ward of The State

        Hello,

        Thank you for posting on your site and sharing your experience. We are confidential, anonymous and always here 24 hours a day for support and resources. We are also very non-directiveness and respect self determination with our callers. We often give general overview of runaway laws because laws vary from state to state. We appreciate your point of reference but understand everyone's situation is different. It often comes down to police discretion for how they handle local runaway cases so we make sure that we do not say what the outcome will be. We recommend our callers call the local police to find out more about what they do if a runaway is found. We thank you for writing to us and we hope that we can continue to be of help later. Good luck.

        -NRS
        Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:


        National Runaway Safeline
        info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

        Tell us what you think about your experience!
        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

        Comment


        • #5
          1 month and 3 days pregnant

          i am 18 and pregnant im a state ward and im a runaway i ran away from a foster home and i was on house arrest i cut it off and ran...i crossed state lines its been 5 months since i have been a runaway how am i going to have my child on the run???

          Comment


          • #6
            RE: 1 month and 3 days pregnant

            Hello, and thanks for your post to the National Runaway Switchboard's bulletin board.

            It sounds like you are dealing with some very serious matters, and we are glad you decided to contact us.

            You state that you are pregnant, a ward of the state, a fugitive from house arrest, and now a runaway. This is a lot to deal with for anyone, and you are extremely strong to be handling so much.

            Are you contact with anyone who knows your situation? Some people who have found themselves in a complicated situation will turn to a trusted person for support and help: a friend, family member, pastor, counselor, or social service agent. Do you know anyone like that who can help?

            Our mission is to keep you as safe as possible. We can look up emergency shelter options, health care options, and we can discuss your situation with you as well. The terms are up to you. We can be reached 24 hours a day, every day, at 1-800-RUNAWAY (800-786-2929). Feel free to call. You can also chat with us via this web site - just click the big red button between 4:30pm and 11:30pm (Central time), every day.

            We are not legal experts or police officers, and we can't offer advice. But we can provide you with contact information for agencies that provide legal aid in your community, who will be able to answer any questions you may have about your legal situation.

            Best wishes to you, and thank you again for contacting us.

            ~NRS
            Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

            National Runaway Safeline
            info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
            1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

            https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/NRSOnlineServicesSurvey

            Comment


            • #7
              Hi I'm 16 and a runaway if I continue to be a run away I will become a wars of the state , my dad takes medication and abuses his mess while my mom has a abusive boyfriend right now I'm still in school and plan on going to collage to become a R.N or go into the army. Will I be able to choose where I live when I am a ward of the state ? Will I become legally emancipated ? Or will I have to go into a foster home?

              Comment


              • #8
                RE: running away while a ward of the state

                Hello,
                Thank you for reaching out to the National Runaway Safeline. It sounds like you are in a bad situation right now. No one deserves to be abused, and we are very sorry to hear about the situation with your family. It sounds like you are thinking about running away again, and that you might become a ward of the state. We are not experts, so we cannot give legal advice. However, we can try to give you an idea of how these things generally work. If you become a ward of the state, you will not be legally emancipated and you will not be able to choose where you live. Being a ward of the state means that a social worker or some other representative of the government is your legal guardian. Usually minors who become wards of the state go into the foster care system and are assigned housing.
                If you are interested in becoming legally emancipated, or if you want to go live with another family member who is willing to take over custody, you might want to speak with a lawyer. We can help you find a legal aid resource in your area if you are interested. Please call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or contact us by chat through this website between the hours of 4:30pm and 11:30pm Central Standard Time. All of our services are confidential and anonymous. We can talk to you about what options you might have and help you develop a plan of action. We are here to listen and support you in any way that we can. We are looking forward to hearing from you soon!
                Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:

                National Runaway Safeline
                info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
                1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)
                Tell us what you think about your experience!
                https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

                Comment


                • #9
                  Runaway

                  My boyfriend was in a foster home and is now ward of state and is currently on the run, but he just turned 18 two days ago. His law gaurdian told him to call him as soon as he tunred 18 to sign himself out of foster care. He did so yesterday but they told him he has a new lawyer. What will they do if he turns himself in? or is he free as of now being that he is eighteen. We live in the state of new york.

                  Need answers or direction on where to go from here..
                  Please and thank you.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    re: Runaway

                    Thanks so much for contacting us. You have some great questions about your boyfriend and his legal concerns. Is there a former caseworker or social worker that he can ask for help? It is great that you are trying to help him out, but these situations can be really confusing at times. Although we are not legal experts, we can tell you that at 18 in most places he would be considered a legal adult. What that means is that it might actually not be necessary to contact anyone. One thing you could always consider would be contacting The New York State Office of Children and Family to see what is required at this point considering you have aged out. You guys can call them at 518-473-7793. You are also welcome to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY 24 hours a day or chat with us from 4:30-11:30pm CST for additional resources or support. Good luck and take care!
                    Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:


                    National Runaway Safeline
                    info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
                    1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

                    Tell us what you think about your experience!
                    https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      runaway

                      I'm 17 years old. I've been in foster care since I was about 12 years old..I ran away from my foster home back in February of this year it is now December. I will be 18 on December 19 which is in 2 weeks. Will I still have a runaway warrant? Or can I move on with my life and start doing better things for myself. I plan to get a job..get into school, get a lisence..etc. can anyone help me?

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Re: Runaway

                        Thank you so much for contacting the National Runaway Safeline—we’re here to listen; here to help. You appear to be very resourceful and brave having managed to stay away from your foster home for 10 months and to reach out to our agency in hope of finding answers to your questions. You also have some great future goals and plans to help you in moving forward with your life.

                        We at the National Runaway Safeline do not claim to be lawyers, legal or law enforcement experts. Therefore, we cannot provide legal advice or definitively say the legal consequences of any one’s actions or predict how law enforcement may respond. Moreover, police response to runaway minors may vary by state and local police departments; especially the closer the youth are to the age of majority. We encourage those looking for legal answers to reach out to their local legal aid agencies and/or their local law enforcement. This being said, there are some general things we can state:

                        1. Running away is a status offense.
                        a. A status offense is any offense that is illegal only because it is committed by a minor. It includes running away, drinking/possessing alcohol, skipping school, and violating curfew. Police may respond to status offenses by holding the youth in temporary custody and/or by returning them to their parents/guardians/foster homes or another safe place.

                        For more information about running away and status offenses, view the following links:

                        http://www.nolo.com/legal-encycloped...ses-32227.html

                        http://act4jj.org/sites/default/file...ctsheet_17.pdf

                        2. Police keep juvenile records confidential
                        a. Police record their contact with youth
                        b. Since these records are private, they should not affect a youth’s future chances with school and jobs.

                        See the following link for more information:

                        http://www.crystalmn.gov/docs/Police...away_Youth.pdf

                        For more individualized help, we encourage you to call us at 1-800-RUNAWAY, our 24-hour crisis line. If you were to call, we would hear more of your story and may be able assist you in developing your plan to ‘start doing better things’ for yourself and refer you to more support resources. Please note that we also have a live chat option available 7 days a week between the hours of 4:30pm-11:30m central standard time.

                        We wish you the best in your future plans! May you have much success when it comes to attending school, getting a license, and getting a job! We really appreciate your coming to us for help, and please do not hesitate to contact us again if you have any questions or need more support.

                        Best,

                        The National Runaway Safeline
                        Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:



                        National Runaway Safeline

                        info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)

                        1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)

                        Tell us what you think about your experience!

                        https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I'm a 16 year old who has guardians so I'm a ward of the state and so when I turn 17 in January I can legally run away and the police or dhs can't do anything about it??

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Re: running away while a ward of the state

                            Hello there,

                            It sounds like you are seriously considering running away and are also a ward of the state. We imagine that being a ward of state alone is tough and it sounds like there may be other things going on too to make you consider running away at 17. Typically, wards of the state wishing to age out sooner than 18 would need to speak to their case worker to see whether emancipating early or a transitional living program is an option. We’re also here to try to help you come up with options. It can be easier to continue talking if you are able to reach out either through our Live Chat or by calling. Hopefully this gives you a start though. Good luck!
                            Please remember you can reach us directly by calling our 24 hour hotline, 1-800-RUNAWAY (786-2929) or through our Live Chat which is open every day from 4:30p to 11:30p CST and can be accessed here:



                            National Runaway Safeline
                            info@1800runaway.org (Crisis Email)
                            1-800-RUNAWAY (24 Hour Hotline)
                            Tell us what you think about your experience!
                            https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/we_care_what_you_think

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              17 years

                              I need advice, I am 17 years old and turn 18 in March. I'm anticipating my birthday in March due to fact I think I'll be able to start my life again, by getting a job, my liscense, and getting back into school. But how can I be sure that my name will be clear after I turn 18 and that DCS will no longer look for me? Please help!

                              Comment

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