Many of the teens that we assist in transitioning to programs have a history of running away from home. It is not uncommon that a child may attempt to runaway after we are already in transit to intervene. As we understand that many teens may not want to participate in the treatment program a parent guardian may choose for them, we recommend the following to decrease the likelihood of your child running away before we are able to successfully intervene:
- We never encourage or recommend that a child is informed of the date, time, or place that we may be arriving to provide intervention and transport services, until we are present.
- If a teen is in a lock down facility, we only recommend informing them of the transport specifics in advance, with the approval of a program representative from both the lock down facility and the program the child is being transitioned to.
- We do not encourage parents to cause or participate in any fights or arguments that could increase a teen to leave home before we arrive.
- Once a parent has made the decision to make an out of home placement, and the parent feel confident we encourage parents to move as quickly as possible to give the least amount of opportunity for the situation to escalate prior to successful placement.
Often parents may be faced with having their child take off before or while they are in the process of finalizing teen placement arrangements for their child. In these circumstances, we offer runaway locating services to assist parents in finding their teen and then safely escorting their child to the chosen teen placement facility. US Youth Transit Authority employs, contracts, and utilizes the following runaway teen locating services:
- Phone consultations to help organize a plan of action for a parent to locate their child at a minimum expense. It is always most preferred to locate a child, before a parent incurs additional travel costs of our staff.
- Networking with law enforcement, private investigators, friends, and other resources to find and locate your teen.
- The use of a private investigator, law enforcement, and/or former special agents to provide a search and location of a teen.
- Any other networking and efforts that will lead to us being able to successfully locate a missing teenage son/daughter.
Often, the best way to find a teen runaway is to take preventative steps before a situation at home escalates to this point. While making a decision to ask, accept, and pay for outside intervention may not be an easy task for any parent, we have found that parents who are able to make this decision early on have increased the success likability for their child. We encourage the following action of parents to increase the ability to locate their child if he/she should ever attempt to runaway. Please note: these are also good steps to take for any parent.
- Be an active participant in your teens life. Know who his/her friend’s are and where they live. Get to know your teens friends and have a good relationship with them, if possible. We are not encouraging parents to act like their child, but to take a sincere interest in their lives. This can be a great asset in easily locating your child if they should ever runaway.
- Know your teen. Be aware of where they hang out, who they associate with, and what they do. We do not encourage parents to go to unnecessary extremes, but you are your teens only parents. Make their business your business even if it involves some time investing on your part. A teenager is not an adult and really needs a concerned parent paying attention to them, with or without their approval.
- While it is important for parents to set boundaries at home, we encourage you to make the home a place where your child feels comfortable and safe. There are some friends and behaviors that parents should never tolerate in or out of their home, but be careful to not be too judgmental of friends that your teen may be associating with.
For additional preventative steps, we would encourage you to contact a therapist or counselor with the appropriate education and experience in providing parenting advice. For more information on how US Youth Transit Authority can assist in locating or finding a missing or runaway teen, please contact us.
We would like to also encourage you to learn more about who we are.