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To Sam

Running away or moving out

Since i was 6 years old i was caring for my mum and being a second mum to my brother but at the age of 13 i was put into foster care, which i prefered but then my grandparents went to court and got permission to take us and look after us, but i never felt wanted or like i belong there. Also everyone was more concerned about my brother, so i went quiet for 2 years but now i have told people how i feel and i hate living with my grandparents, they then banned me from seeing my mum and they said after i am 18 is when i can see my mum, but i cant cope with them anymore, i just wanna run away and live somewhere else, but they keep telling social workers of for getting envoled, so i was wondering is it possible to move out when you are 16? because i am 16 in October.
Ask Sam


Hi there,

Caring for family members can be a difficult experience, you can start to feel responsible for the people you help to look after. Being taken away from those responsibilities is a big change so you might want to look at the information and advice on our young carers page.

Social services often try to place young people with family members so that relationships in the family can be kept up. It’s important to be really honest with them about how you feel so that they can make the best decisions for you about where you live. If talking to a social worker feels hard, you could think about writing them a letter and asking them to read it. There’s some more information on our living in care page. You can also talk to a ChildLine counsellor about this and they can help you talk to a social worker.

In the UK, the law says that you can leave home without consent at the age of 16 but you will be unable to sign a tenancy agreement until you are 18 because it is a legal document. In some areas it might be possible to move into supported housing when you are 16.It can be like having your own place but with support available when you need it. That would be something to ask a social worker about. Our your rights page explains more about housing law and young people.

Many young people feel they want to run away to get away from a difficult situation but I believe it is better and safer to try to change your situation with the help of trusted adults rather than putting yourself in danger. If you ever feel like you want to run away from home, it is really important to speak to a ChildLine counsellor before you do anything. They will help you to understand how you are feeling and to look at alternative ways to deal with what is going on.

You can talk to a ChildLine counsellor at any time. They will not judge you, they will always listen and support you.

Take care,


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