A Praying Life
10/1/14 at 08:56 PM 0 Comments

Why Do Children Run Away?

text size A A A


The National Crime Information Center reports “as of December 31, 2013, NCIC contained 84,136 active missing person records. Juveniles under the age of 18 account for 33,849 (40.2 %) of the records and 9,706 (11.5 %) were for juveniles between the ages of 18 and 20. “Every year, more than one million children in the U.S. run away from home. This includes kids as young as 10, however most runaways are between 15 and 17.

No one can accurately describe the fear, pain and anxiety of a caring parent whose child goes missing as a result of running away or abduction. There is an immediate sense of panic and anxiety the moment you realize that you do not know where your child is and fear that they may be in danger. The questions and fears swirl in your mind almost paralyzing you. Although my children have never run away from home; I do know what it feels like to be in a store or other setting and suddenly realize that you don’t see your child. Most parents have probably experienced becoming concerned when your child does not arrive home at the expected time, particularly giving the climate of violence, abductions, rape etc that we live in today. In this article I will offer some concrete steps you can take should you be confronted with this type of situation. In another article I will addressed abductions.

I am not an expert in this field. I have experience working with parents during my career as a child welfare worker dealing with children who were neglected, physical and/or sexually abused. I also have experience as a licensed professional counselor working with foster and adoptive parents and children who struggled with emotional hurt, anger, confusion and/or rebellion. I have counsel children who are repeat runners.I am writing about this because my heart is burden for those children who run away unaware of the dangers they put themselves in.

Why Do Children Run Away?

1. Physical, sexual or emotional abuse

2. Problems at home i.e. parents using drugs, alcoholic

3. Feel parents are too strict

4. They are in foster care

5. Rebellion

6. Want to fit in with friends i.e. peer pressure

7. They are using drugs, alcohol

8.. Pregnant

9. mental illness

10. Impulsive and or immature

11. Feels unloved and or misunderstood

12. Parents have recently divorced

13. In trouble at home, school or law and afraid of consequences

14. To be with someone they “love” forbidden boyfriend or girlfriend

What to do when your child runaway or goes missing.

1. You must make a police report immediately. Do not wait a day or two for them to come home on their own.

2. If you are a foster parent you must also contact your supervising agency in addition to making the police report.

3. Keep a folder with current picture, weight, age, birthmarks etc.

4. Keep a list of phone numbers of friends and acquaintances

5. Keep a list of places they frequent

6. Upload picture on computer. Update every six months

What to do when child returns home

National Runaway Safeline (1-800-runaway) gives the following advice to parents when their child returns home: 1) be happy he returned home 2)allow time to settle in 3)get medical attention 4)talk with your teen 5)make follow up phones calls to anyone you contacted while child was on run. For more details: http://www.1800runaway.org/parents/tips/when_child_comes_home/

I. I have often advised parents to do this: For children who repeatedly runaway inform them that in addition to making the police report that you will post flyers near their school and hangouts. This may deter some children who do not want to be embarrassed.

2. Seek professional family counseling. Some jobs will provide brief counseling for employees and their families. Most health plans will cover brief therapy sessions.

3. Check your local community agencies for referral i.e yellow pages,alderman etc.

4. If you have guardianship or have adopted a child you may be able to obtain help by calling the Post-Adoption agency in your area. https://www.childwelfare.gov/adoption/adopt_assistance/questions.cfm?quest_id=7

5. Although this is listed last it should be one of the first things you do. . Seek spiritual help i.e. pastors, intercession team etc.

The following resources may be helpful and I encourage you to read them for information on creating a Missing Person Report, tips and advice for parents.






SPEAK THE ANSWER NOT THE PROBLEM. THE ANSWER IS THE WORD OF GOD. Heavenly father your word declares if any man lack wisdom let him ask you. We ask for the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the LORD to rest upon us. We stand on your word “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it” We have done our best to bring them up in a nurturing way and the admonition of the Lord. Give us wisdom in how to speak to them in a way that will cause them to listen, help us to listen to what they say verbally and non-verbally. Help us to know and discern their emotions. We speak to our children’s heart and command it to come in alignment with your word. We bind up rebellious spirit, spirit of deceit and delusions in their lives. We loose the spirit of obedience, cooperation, love, understanding and truth in the inward parts. Your word tells us that we can decree a thing and you will establish it. We decree that our children are God chasers, children of the most high God; they hear your voice and another they will not follow. They are leaders and not followers and are confident in their ability to do all things that strengthen them in you. They are the best of the best and seek to please you in all their ways. You have given us the mandate and authority to fight for our children. We decree that we will not give them up to the enemy. We plead the blood of Jesus over their mind, will, emotions and soul. We bind up that spirit that frustrates them and make them want to runaway. We bind their heart, mind, soul and will to your will. If they should runaway we ask that you dispatch your angels to watch over them, arrest them and bring them back home safely. Take out the stony heart and everything that rises up against the knowledge of you and give them a heart of flesh that seeks to obey you. Help us God to be good watchman over them and their souls that you have entrusted to us. When we have done all that we can may we be reminded that you are in control and we can release them to you. God we trust you, therefore we place them in your hands because we understand that their arms are too short to box with you. What we can’t handle we know that you can. Father, we thank you that you are our God, you answer by fire, your love, truth and mercy prevails over the works of the enemy. We thank you and worship you for surely you hear the cry of the righteous and you will answer right speedily.


CP Blogs do not necessarily reflect the views of The Christian Post. Opinions expressed are solely those of the author(s).