An “Endangered runaway” is a child under 18 years old who has run away from a parent, guardian, or state care facility. According to the National Runaway Safeline, between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away each year in the U.S.
The risk factors for running away from home or state care are multifaceted, and there is no typical runaway.
The following factors may put youth at an increased risk of running away or becoming homeless:
Alcohol and/or drug use
Mental illness diagnosis
Has previously run away
Involvement in gangs or child sex trafficking
By the Numbers
To search for a missing child and view posters of those missing in your area, click here.
With help from our private-sector photo partners, we coordinate the creation and dissemination of missing child posters to targeted geographic areas to help generate leads and engage the public in the search.
Supporting Victims and Families
For families with a missing or sexually exploited child, NCMEC provides support services like crisis intervention and local counseling referrals to appropriate professionals. Our Team HOPE program connects families with peers who have had similar experiences and can offer coping skills and compassion. When a missing child is recovered, we help families with the reunification process, including mental health services and travel assistance.