This chapter can be closed with relief. Monika returned unharmed to her grandmother’s residence. Clearly there are some internal familial conflicts that need to be resolved. As is the case with most teens who run away. I was just checking the statistics and surprisingly found the average teen runaway is white from an Upper Middle Class background.
What Ms. Hunter may not realize now is that she is very fortunate that another unforeseen incident didn’t change the course of her life for the worse. Many kids run away due to abuse and violence. Others are experiencing personal conflicts. I can imagine parents and guardians would be tempted to overreact or try to clamp down the movements of a returnee. This is a situation that requires trained 3rd party counselors.
Between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away in a year. Our mission at the National Runaway Switchboard is to help keep America’s runaway and at-risk youth safe and off the streets. Call 1-800-RUNAWAY if you are a teenager who is thinking of running from home, if you have a friend who has run and is looking for help, or if you are a runaway ready to go home through our Home Free program.
Home Free Program:
You have left home. You may be tired, scared or hungry. You want to go home and work things out, but you don’t have any money or any way to get home. Thousands of teens have been in your shoes. How did they get home? Through our Home Free program, done in collaboration with Greyhound Lines, Inc., more than 13,000 youth have been reunited with their families, free of charge, since the program’s inception. The first step to getting Home Free is calling 1-800-RUNAWAY.
What Happens After:
Home Free isn’t just a bus ticket home. We want you to be safe. We also want you to stay home by helping you rebuild your relationship with your family. In addition to working with you and your parents/guardians to develop a plan before you return home, we also provide you with resources in your community to help you start rebuilding your relationship. We also contact you to make sure you got home safely and to see how things are going. If necessary, we give you the names of other resources in your community to help you continue your success.
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