"I couldn't put my mom and dad through this emotional agony. NRS helped me talk to my parents and let them know where I was."

Posted to NRS' Public Forum
  • We'll listen to your story.
  • Your information is confidential.
  • You’ll get reliable support.

We are here to support families.

Parenting is hard!

Whether you’re having trouble talking to your child or your child has already run, we can help. We will listen and assist you in developing a plan.

We’re trained to help you.

Each team member has been trained to handle a crisis, provide support and listen to your story.

We respect your family’s privacy.

You can choose anonymity.

When you are sharing your story, you can choose whether or not to share your contact information. We don’t track phone calls or IP addresses.

Our conversation is personal and private.

We won’t share what you discuss with us.

Immediate assistance 24/7/365

Extensive experience working with families.

Each of our frontline team members has over 40 hours of crisis intervention training. With 10,000 resources in our database, we can identify support within your community.

Message service.

You can leave a message for your child with us. And when they contact us, we’ll deliver it. When you and your child are ready to talk, we can also serve as a neutral mediator on a three-way call.

Get Support

Reach out to us in a way that works best for you. We are here to listen and here to help.

  • My youth may or already has run away.

    Your child may be thinking about leaving your home. As a helpful next step, try to sit down and talk to your youth about how they may consider their options. We also encourage you to consider these questions:

    • If my child runs away, where will they stay? Is it safe?
    • What about school? How will my child continue to get an education?
    • How will my child support themselves? Shelter? Food? Transportation?
    • Discuss with your child what the issues are that cause him/her to think about running away. What can be done to make for a better environment at home?
    • What does your child need from you? What do you need from your child?

    If your child has already left home, consider these questions and explore options by connecting with National Runaway Safeline:

    • Have you reported them missing to the police or local law enforcement?
    • Ask yourself: have they left before? What happened last time they left?
    • What is your plan if they return? What guidelines can you put in place once they come back home?
    • What might be the reason for them running away? What can be done to make for a better environment at home?
    • What does your child need from you? What do you need from your child?
  • I need help talking to my youth.

    If you need help communicating effectively with your child, we can set up a three-way telephone conversation. We’ll stay on the line and make sure your voice is heard in a calm way. We can help you and your child understand each other by guiding the call. This is a way to open lines of communication.

    Another way to start or improve communicating is with our message service. You can give us a message for your child and we’ll deliver it to your child if they call 1-800-RUNAWAY to check if any messages were left for him/her. In order to protect the safety of the child, messages must be received from him/her willingly.

    Parents have the right to feel safe in their own home as well. There are local programs and services that can help strengthen the relationship between you and your youth/teenager. By connecting with NRS through our hotline and online services, we can put you in contact with those programs.

  • What to expect when I connect.

    We will listen to your family’s story — because we are here to support you.

    We Don’t Judge.

    • You can expect to share your story with someone who won’t judge you or tell you what to do.

    We’re Trained to Help You.

    • Each team member has been trained to handle a crisis, provide support and listen to your story.

    Our services are confidential, but your safety is priority.

    • Your story is confidential (as long as you choose not to provide your name and address).
    • We don’t track phone calls or IP addresses.
    • If someone is hurting your child and you provide us with your name and/or child’s name, address and the abuser’s name, we are required by law to report it.
    • You maintain anonymity unless you choose to tell us your name, address and the abuser’s name.

    We provide the same support — no matter how you contact us.

    • The hotline provides an opportunity to have a more immediate and thorough conversation about your story. CALL NOW: 1-800-RUNAWAY or 1-800-786-2929
    • If you feel more comfortable writing to us, you can connect to us through live chat, email, or public forum.

    Reach out to us in a way that works best for you. We are here to listen and here to help.

  • Tips For Parents & Guardians.

    Being a parent or guardian isn’t easy. The National Runaway Safeline has turned to youth and parents we serve to get helpful tips on confronting the challenges of being a parent or guardian. These highlighted tips are results from the Youth and Parent Tips Campaign 2013, which offer advice on how to handle certain situations between youth and parents or guardians.

    To see the full list, click here

    • Your relationship with your child is always more important than an issue.
    • Communication is key. Listening is a skill, so it is important to hear your children out before rendering judgment or an opinion.
    • Tell your children that you will listen to them and talk with them no matter what the topic, worry, or concern and that nothing they do will make you stop loving them.
    • Validate your teen’s point of view. Sometimes kids just want to know that you hear what they say, even if you don’t agree.
    • Collaborate on rules. Your teen is more likely to comply with rules he or she helped set up.
    • Teens are going to make mistakes. It’s a part of the process of growing up. Let them know you will still be there when they stumble and fall.
    • If your child tells you or shows signs of being bullied, don’t ignore it and hope it goes away. Document it and contact your child’s school.
    • Tell your child that it’s okay to get angry and to express it in a healthy way.
    • Treat your child as you would like to be treated.
  • Resources for Parents & Guardians.

    The National Runaway Safeline has access to nearly 10,000 resources throughout the country, including support groups, counseling and drug treatment centers and housing. These are some resources that may be useful to parents or guardians in crisis. If you cannot find the resources you are looking for here, call 1-800-RUNAWAY and we can search our extensive database for help in your area.

    Resources for Parents and Guardians

    Parents and Guardians of Missing Children


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