If your foster child runs away, you should do the following:
- Inform your agency social worker immediately. If you are unable to contact your agency social worker contact the agency after-hours phone.
- After you have determined that the child’s absence is in fact a case of runaway, you may call and make a report to the police. Be prepared to give a description of the child and what the child was wearing.
- Contact the child’s friends and ask if they have seen the child. It is advisable to keep a list of your child’s friends and phone numbers.
Use your judgment regarding how long to wait to call your family social worker if the child fails to return home from school on time or other unauthorized absence.
The general rule is to call after two (2) hours, however, if you have a young child or a child with special needs, two (2) hours may be much too long. Call when you feel it should be reported, and call the police when you feel it is appropriate to report a child missing.
However, if the absence has been more than two (2) hours, it MUST be reported.
Be aware that all unauthorized absences (e.g. running) will include an investigation as to the circumstances leading up to the event. We strongly recommend that Foster Parents install cameras in public areas of the house and alarms for primary doors or windows. This will alert you if the foster child attempts to leave the house without your knowledge or approval.