Information on Runaway Children

​​​Role of Law Enforcement Officers:

Once the uniformed officer has completed the runaway report, it will be forwarded to police headquarters. A radio broadcast will be made to all patrol cars in Virginia Beach, giving the name and physical description of the runaway. Your child is then entered into a nationwide computerized information system (NCIC) and a copy of the report is forwarded to a Missing Persons Detective for investigation. If either criminal activity, evidence of foul play, or an emergency situation exists, the uniform officer will contact a detective to assist in the investigation to locate your child.
The fact that your child has been reported as a runaway does not mean the child will have a juvenile record. The Family Counseling Unit of the Juvenile Domestic Relations Court will assist the family in identifying and correcting the problems and misunderstandings which may cause a child to run away from home, by providing counseling. The Family Counseling Unit and the parents can work together for the benefit of the child and family. Only those cases which go before the Court will result in the child receiving a juvenile record.
In the Commonwealth of Virginia, a child who is a runaway is not considered a criminal. All runaway cases will be handled as a non-criminal matter.

Role of the Parent:

After you have filed the runaway report, go through your child's personal articles; mail, notes, email, school books, etc. Information may be found which could lead to the whereabouts of your child. Also, check with your child's friends and their parents. Most often it is easier for the parent to get information than the Missing Persons Detective. Any information which you receive should be reported to the Missing Persons Detective. All future calls, whether to seek or give information, will be handled through the Missing Persons Detectives at (757) 385-4101. Juvenile Intake can also provide valuable guidance in regards to your child, and is available Monday - Friday from 8 a.m.          to 4 p.m. at (757) 427-4361.
When your child returns home, contact ECCS non-emergency line at (757) 385-5000.

Other Information:

If the runaway is located in another city or state, it is the parent's responsibility to make arrangements for the child's return home. The child can be detained by juvenile authorities in most jurisdictions throughout the Continental United States; however, the parent must understand that there are jurisdictions who do not cooperate in holding or returning juvenile runaways because of the laws in that particular jurisdiction. All expenses for returning the runaway to the reporting jurisdiction is the responsibility of the child's parent.
In response to requests from parents, the following list of community resources / referral services are provided. Listing these services does not constitute an endorsement by the City of Virginia Beach.

Public Facilities

Virginia Beach Comprehensive Mental Health
Pembroke Thr​​ee Building Suite 138
Virginia Beach, VA
(757) 437-6150 or (757) 490-0853
Virginia Beach Psychiatric Center
1100 First Colonial Road
Virginia Beach, VA
(757) 627-5433
(24 hrs, 7 days a week) ​

Private Facilities

Seton House
642 North Lynnhaven Road
Virginia Beach, VA
(757) 498-4673
Seton House
465 Kings Grant Road
Virginia Beach, VA
(757) 306-1840
​​The Pines Treatment Center
825 Crawford Parkway
Portsmouth, VA
(757) 393-0061
The Barry Robinson Center
443 Kempsville Road
Norfolk, VA
(757) 455-6100

Telephone Hotlines:

​National R​​unaway Switchboard (800) 621-4000​
​Seton House Runaway Hotline ​(757) 498-4357 
National Center for Missing and Exploited Children ​(800) 566-5688
Contact Information