What is “running away”?

There are many definitions of the expression “running away”.  The most common usage explains that running away is when a minor voluntarily leaves the family home or any other residential setting (foster family, group home, rehabilitation centre) for at least one night without the authorization of the person who is legally responsible for caring for him or her. (Hanigan, 1997; Impe and Lefebvre, 1981).

It could be running away:

  • If your child disappeared from the place where she/he lives.
  • If your child has not come home after a planned absence.
  • If your child expressed, either verbally or by his/her behavior, the desire to run away.
  • If your child has left indications that he/she could have left on his/her own, for example, taking money, clothes or personal possessions.