Thursday, June 22, 2006

teen runaways- UPDATED

my brother's 14 year-old stepdaughter ran away from home. [i will post more details when i am up to it.] she has been missing over 48 hours now. we are all limited to praying and hoping and waiting. one thing i have discovered is the paucity of resources for families in this situation (or dealing with other 'troubled teen issues) and the difficulty finding them. it is an excellent example of how hard it is to find anything on the internet when there is a buck to be made (witness the huge number of 'informational sites' designed to convince you to ship your kid to their affiliated boot camps). in addition, it a) demonstrates how few states actually have resources for helping at-risk or troubled teens and b) how limited the national resources appear to be (at least on the surface). the one listing i found for resources organized b state jumped directly from Idaho to Kentucky with nothing in Illinois, Iowa, or Indiana.

so far, this is what i have found. please post any other reputable resources in comments as they would be very welcome. also, if i have been 'tricked' regarding any of the below resources, please let me know. i will report our experience with them as it unfolds.

Just in Case... Runaway: a brochure from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children on handling all aspects of responding to a runaway situation. so far this is most helpful thing out there and some of the steps should be taken within the first hours if possible so download right away if you are in a similar situation.

Team Hope: The mission of Team H.O.P.E. is to assist families with missing children by offering counsel, resources, empowerment and emotional support from a trained volunteer, who has had or still has a missing child.

National Runaway Switchboard: We are the federally-designated national communication system (hotline and website) for runaway and homeless youth.

Focus Adolescent Services: Focus Adolescent Services is an internet clearinghouse of information and resources on teen and family issues to help and support families with troubled and at-risk teens.

Another article on what to do.


UPDATE 10:30pm 6/22
after being missing close to 72 hours, my niece has been 'caught' and is currently headed home. we are certainly not out of the woods, esp given she is not coming home of her own choice, but at least we know she is safe for now. we are taking a careful and supportive approach in the hopes of truly sorting out what is going on and helping her find safer ways to express her feelings.

thank you all so very much for your support–


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