Between 1.6 and 2.8 million youth run away in a year. Our mission at the National Runaway Switchboard is to help keep America’s runaway and at-risk youth safe and off the streets. Our services are provided in part through funding from Family and Youth Services Bureau in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.Call 1-800-RUNAWAY if you are a teenager who is thinking of running from home, if you have a friend who has run and is looking for help, or if you are a runaway ready to go home through our Home Free program. Call if you are a teacher looking for information to pass along to your students about alternatives to running from home. Call if you care about a youth and want information on how you can help someone who may be at risk of running from home.
Our 24-hour crisis line has an experienced front-line team member ready to help you now. It’s anonymous, confidential and free. 1-800-RUNAWAY.
History of the National Runaway Switchboard-The mission of the National Runaway Switchboard (NRS) is to help keep America’s runaway and at-risk youth safe and off the streets. The organization serves as the federally designated national communication system for runaway and homeless youth.
NRS was established in 1971 to fill a need for comprehensive crisis intervention for young people in Chicago. It was conceived as a centralized organization with free 24-hour services, expertise in all youth-related issues and as an information clearinghouse of youth services.
In 1974, the National Runaway Switchboard received an eight-month federal demonstration grant to establish a national hotline. During this time, 11,000 calls were received demonstrating the need for this type of service. Since then, NRS’ capabilities and services have grown considerably. The 1-800-RUNAWAY hotline now handles more than 100,000 calls each year.
The National Runaway Switchboard’s 1-800-RUNAWAY crisis hotline is available 24-hours a day throughout the United States and its territories, including Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Guam.
Our services are provided through funding from Family and Youth Services Bureau in the Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the generosity of private funders: individual donors, corporate partners, and foundation grants.
Values of NRS
The National Runaway Switchboard provides education and solution-focused interventions, offers non-sectarian, non-judgmental support, respects confidentiality, collaborates with volunteers, and responds to at-risk youth and their families 24 hours a day.