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Local officials offer tips to help prevent runaways

Over one and a half million children leave their homes each year as runaways, some never to return.

November is National Runaway Prevention Month and 39 news’s Jackson Overstreet has more on what you can do to help.

It’s a feeling no parent wants to experience. coming home to finding your child is not there.

“1.8 million children in the united states a year are running away at some point.”

In Madison county, the juvenile court has roughly a tenth of their cases each year involving runaways.

“about eleven hundred cases a year through the juvenile court. of those, for 2017 177 of those were runaway cases and so far in 2018 we have seen 106.”

Amy Jones is the director of the Madison County juvenile court. She says a lot of the runaway cases have a common theme.

“usually we’re dealing with a difficult dynamic in the home or some mental health problems wither on the part of the child or the parent that nobody is really sure how to deal with.”

November is national runaway prevention month. organizations like Youth Villages in Jackson say one of the biggest thing people can due to help stop a potential runaway is just being there for the child, especially if they are having trouble at home.

“it can be a coach, a youth pastor, a teacher or a neighbor, family friend, an aunt or uncle. that one consistent adult helps them build resiliency and protects them from being a runaway.”

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