If you're thinking of running away from home, you need to get the facts first - it's cold and scary out there.
Running away is my only way out
Before you do it, talk to someone about your options. You can
speak to people anonymously and for free by calling the National Missing Persons Runaway Helpline.
Being homeless is scary, cold and dangerous.
Wouldn't you rather find out the alternatives before giving it a go?
I just can't stay at home
OK, these are your options:
- If you're 16 or 17, homeless and in danger, Social Services have to provide you with accommodation, usually in a hostel sharing with other homeless people.
- If you're under 16 and leave home, your parents are still legally responsible for you. If you're staying with another adult, they can apply for a residence order for you to stay with them if there's a clear reason why you can't return home.
- If you're under 16 and don't have another adult to stay with, you need to talk to someone about your options. Remember that by law you've got to go to school, you can't claim benefits and you can't work full-time. Many young people in this situation end up sleeping rough on the streets. So before you do anything, talk to social services.
- There are also services aimed at preventing homelessness, by helping families sort out the reasons why teens want to leave home. So it's worth talking to social services before making any decisions.