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The Right Connection - Runaway

Runaway Services

A 24-hour and toll-free confidential help line for runaways and their parents is available from the Statewide Runaway Hotline, call (800) 292-4517.

 Click on each title below to see detailed information.

Up to 30 days licensed residential care for youth ages 12 -17 who have run away from home or are considering running away from their home, are homeless, in need of protection, or otherwise experiencing problems at home. Parental consent is required within 24 hours and parent/guardian must sign admission forms within 72 hours of the youth entering the program. Available from Family Youth Interventions (FYI), (586) 465-1212 (Mt. Clemens).

Services include:

  • A highly-structured program with a clear focus on family reunification and life skills building for the youth.
  • Group, individual, and family therapy, vocational, recreational and activities of daily living. Focus of the program is on family therapy.

Depending on staff availability, aftercare services for up to three months may be offered to families participating in the program. Outpatient counseling for three months may also be available or client will be referred to an appropriate counseling agency.

In case of insufficient bed availability, youth and families may be placed on a waiting list or referred to a runaway shelter program in Oakland, Wayne or St. Clair counties.

Sanctuary Royal Oak (248) 547-2260
Off the Streets Wayne County, Detroit (313) 873-0678
Counterpoint Inkster (313) 563-5005
The Harbor Port Huron (810) 982-8584

If a youth has violated a court order not to run away, he/she may be placed in the Macomb County Juvenile Justice Center (JCC). A runaway is usually placed in the JCC only if the youth has been told by the court that he/she cannot run away and then violates the court order. Sheltercare at the JCC is usually accessed through DHS- Children’s Protective Services. Residential fees at the JJC are approximately $150.00 per day, based on the parent's ability to pay. Calls from parents who wish to place their child in the youth home (prior to court involvement) are usually referred to Juvenile Court Prevention Services or Family Youth Interventions (FYI).


By law in Michigan, youth 16 or older may file for emancipation. It is a legal process where the youth must demonstrate the ability to accept adult responsibilities. The process takes place in Juvenile Court, beginning with contacting the court so that the law and its criteria can be explained. A petition for emancipation is filed in Juvenile Court by the youth. Criteria for emancipation include:Demonstrated ability to support self (must provide proof of support)

  • Ability to accept/handle adult responsibilities, i.e. sign legally binding contracts
  • A written affidavit is required from a professional person (teacher, nurse, minister, counselor, probation officer, etc.) attesting to the youth's ability to act in a mature manner.
  • Providing a birth certificate

The process takes about 3-4 weeks once the petition is filed. This is a legal process where the decision is made based on facts presented to the court.  Parents may participate, though their input is generally in the form of a statement to the court. While many teenagers seek information on emancipation, much fewer actually meet the criteria and follow through with the petition. You may call for an appointment or more information from Juvenile Court, (586) 469-5412.

A form of Court supervision that addresses problems of home truancy (runaways), family conflict, minor law violations and school issues for Macomb youth under the age of 17 with no previous formal court record.  To be eligible for the program, a petition must be filed by either the local police department, the Macomb Intermediate School District for school truancy, or the custodial parent/ legal guardian. Further, parents/guardians who come to the court to file a petition must first show evidence of exhausting other community resources. A fee is assessed if accepted into this program. For more information, call Juvenile Court, (586) 469-5240.

When a child is home truant, it is often helpful for the parents to contact the child's school and the police. The police may ask parents to wait 24 hours to make a report, although they have been known to take a report sooner. This is often an important step which may be overlooked by parents. However, it helps to ascertain the youth's safety, as well as holds the child responsible for his/her behavior. It is also helpful to call the child's friends and notify their parents of the situation. Often a runaway child will stay at a friend's house and tell the friend’s parents that they have permission.

Armada Police Department (586) 784-9152 Richmond Police Department (586) 727-7545
Center Line Police Department (586) 757-2200 Romeo Police Department (586) 752-3587
Chesterfield Police Department (586) 949-2112 Roseville Police Department (586) 775-2100
Clinton Twp. Police Department (586) 493-7800 St. Clair Shores Police Dept. (586) 445-5300
Eastpointe Police Department (586) 775-0400 Shelby Township Police Dept. (586) 731-2121
Fraser Police Department (586) 293-1425 Sterling Hts. Police Department (586) 446-2800
Memphis Police Department (586) 392-2144 Utica Police Department (586) 731-2345
New Baltimore Police Department (586) 725-2181 Warren Police Department (586) 574-4700
New Haven Police Department (586) 749-5121    

Crisis intervention with the goal of reuniting minors aged 18 -21 who are runaways, homeless, or exploited youth with their parent/legal guardian, approved alternative living program, or community-based transitional or independent living program. Youth may also be eligible to receive reunification transportation. Certain requirements and criteria must be met. Available from the National Runaway Safeline, (800) RUNAWAY (786-2929).

Helpful resources:

My Child has Run Away from Home: A Resource Booklet for Parents

Runaways and Drug Abuse: 15 Ways to Reach Out and Make a Difference

How to Discipline a Runaway Child & Consequences
https://www.empoweringparents.com/article/running-away-part-ii-mom-i-want-to-come-home-when-your-child-is-on-the-st reets/

Alone without a Home: A State-by-State Review of Laws Affecting Unaccompanied Youth

 The National Network for Youth