Questions Posted to "Ask a Dispatcher"
Q. If a minor is within 6 months of their 18th birthday and they have been kicked out by their parents, who then file a runaway or missing persons report can said minor be forced to return to their parents home?
Dear Juneau Resident,
Yes, the minor does have to go home. The phrasing of your question shows that you are an ally of the minor child. In that role you can be helpful as long as your remember there are two sides to every story and, as officers going to disturbances usually find out, each side has some truth and a lot of reaction going on. The actual truth of the situation is usually somewhere between the two accounts. You can assist in this situation by encouraging the use of a third party, maybe Cornerstone staff, a counselor, a family friend, who can see the perspective of parents and child and negotiate some ground rules for everyone getting through the next six months.
18 years old is one of those 'bright lines' in the law. At that point the young person can do whatever he or she wants as far as where to live and what to do. However, unless he or she is 100% self-supporting and very mature a complete break is probably not wise.