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Information on Runaway Children

Role of Law Enforcement Officers

Once the uniformed officer has completed the runaway report, it will be forwarded to police headquarters. A radio broadcast will be made to all patrol cars in Franklin, giving the name and physical description of the runaway. Your child is then entered into a nationwide computerized information system (NCIC)  If either criminal activity, evidence of foul play, or an emergency situation exists, the uniform officer may contact a detective to assist in the investigation to locate your child.

The fact that your child has been reported as a runaway does not mean the child will have a juvenile record.  Only those cases which go before the Court will result in the child receiving a juvenile record. In the Commonwealth of Virginia, a child who is a runaway is not considered a criminal. All runaway cases will be handled as a non-criminal matter.

Role of the Parent

After you have filed the runaway report, go through your child's personal articles; mail, notes, email, school books, etc. Information may be found which could lead to the whereabouts of your child. Also, check with your child's friends and their parents. Most often it is easier for the parent to get information than the officer/detective. Any information which you receive should be reported to the officer/detective.

When your child returns home, contact the Franklin Police using the non-emergency line at (757) 562-8575.

Other Information

If the runaway is located in another city or state, it is the parent's responsibility to make arrangements for the child's return home. The child can be detained by juvenile authorities in most jurisdictions throughout the Continental United States; however, the parent must understand that there are jurisdictions who do not cooperate in holding or returning juvenile runaways because of the laws in that particular jurisdiction. All expenses for returning the runaway to the reporting jurisdiction is the responsibility of the child's parent.

Telephone Hotlines

​National Runaway Switchboard

Phone: (800) 621-4000​

Seton House Runaway Hotline

Phone: (757) 498-4357 

National Center for Missing & Exploited Children

National Center for Missing and Exploited Children

Phone: (800) 566-5688