Runaways
Endangered Runaways

Overview

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.

Risk Factors

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
  • Suicidal tendencies
  • Self-harm
  • Medical conditions
       
  • Mental illness diagnosis
  • Has previously run away
  • Involvement in gangs or child sex trafficking

By the Numbers

In 2017, of the 27,000 cases reported to NCMEC, 91% were endangered runaways.

To search for a missing child and view posters of those missing in your area, click here.

51% of endangered runaways reported to NCMEC were between 16-17 years old.
22% of all Endangered Runaway children who were intaked by NCMEC in 2016 had multiple missing incidents in the same year.

Learn more about child sex trafficking here.

What NCMEC is Doing About it

Raising Public Awareness to Help Bring Them Home

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.