In Depth: Help for parents of runaways

State statistics show 90 percent of missing children in 2002 were suspected runaways.

Nakia Sanchez, 15, says life as a runaway is not easy, but it's better than dealing with the non-stop fights she and her mother had. Unfortunately, Sanchez's story is not all that uncommon. One Bronx mother says her daughter, Bridgette, left for school one day and never came home. The woman says the problems with her daughter started when she told her to stop spending time with her boyfriend who was older.

Experts agree that communication is key. They say the number one thing parents can do to keep their kids from running away is to simply talk to them for a half hour each day. Criminal Justice Services also says kids do present signs when something is wrong. They say kids eating and sleeping patterns might change or they might begin hanging around with different people and stop spending time with their families.

Bridgette's mom has filed police reports with the NYPD, but still has heard nothing about the whereabouts of her daughter. According to the NYPD, once a runaway report is filed, an initial search is conducted and then the case is dropped.

But parents can get help from organizations such as the Bronx Task Force. The group has a 100 percent success rate in finding runaways. Parents can also get help at the city's Administration for Children's Services. It just started a family assessment program in the Bronx to help parents experiencing problems with their kids.

sorry to interrupt
your first 20 are free
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please enjoy 20 complimentary views of articles, photos, and videos during the next 30 days.
you have reached your 20 view limit
Access to News 12 is free for Optimum, Comcast®, Spectrum Networks® and Service ElectricSM customers.
Please login or create an account to continue enjoying News12.
Our sign-up page is undergoing maintenance and is not currently available. However, you will be given direct access to while we complete our upgrade.
When we are back up and running you will be prompted at that time to complete your sign in. Until then, enjoy the local news, weather, traffic and more that's "as local as local news gets."