Runaways and Lockouts

What is the difference between a runaway and a lockout?

  • A runaway is a minor who has left the home with consent from the parent/guardian.
    • It is considered a status offense.
    • Any minor between the ages of 11-17 who has left the home without the parents/guardians consent is considered to be a runaway.
    • This can also include minors who left school without permission as well.
  • A lockout is a minor whose parent/guardian is refusing to allow the minor to return home.

Who do I contact if my child is a runaway?

  • If a minor runs away then the parents/guardian are directed to call their local law enforcement agency.

What happens when I decide to lock my child out?

  • In order to pursue a lockout a parent/guardian must take their child to a local law enforcement agency. A parent cannot show up at the office and state that they “do not want their child anymore.” All calls must come from Law Enforcement. Please keep in mind that if a parent/guardian pursues a lockout then DCFS is contacted on the grounds of neglect.