She Ran Away From Foster Care. She Ended Up in Handcuffs and Leg Irons.

It is not a crime to run away from foster care. But in Family Court hearings each week, the city is getting arrest warrants for children who do.

News Story (New York)

Ali Watkins
New York Times (NYT)
December 6, 2018

Tags: Children & Juvenile, Foster Youth

Organizations mentioned/involved: Lawyers for Children (New York City), Legal Aid Society (New York City)


It is the A.C.S.’s controversial solution to a complicated problem: how to find and keep runaway minors in foster homes they do not want to stay in. To not search for runaways is a dereliction of the agency’s duty. But to use law enforcement over less adversarial approaches, like casework, puts some of the city’s most vulnerable wards into volatile situations.