Getting your child home

If your child is 16 or 17 years old and has left home without your permission, it may be hard to get them back home:

  • In practical terms, you can’t force a child of that age to live somewhere they don’t want to live
  • If they are happy and safe, a social worker or police officer is unlikely to demand their return.
  • In these situations, it may be best to accept that they have left home, and focus instead on things like keeping in touch and giving them emotional and practical help particularly about their education, housing and how they will support themselves. You can ask for a Family Group Conference to involve your wider family in making plans.