Reunite is our founding program that reunites runaway youth with their families across Canada. If home is not an option, we work with the youth and existing agencies in that city to find an alternative solution. In order to be eligible, a youth must be between 16-21 years of age and must have run away from home. We will not travel any youth with pending legal issues. After a successful reunite is made, we will conduct a one-month follow up with the family and offer any assistance needed at that time.
In partnership with the Canadian Bus Association and Greyhound Canada, Operation Come Home is able to help runaway youth. Greyhound Canada provides 125 one way tickets per year to help these youth travel home safely to their families. For more information on Greyhound’s support, click here.
If you or your child has run away from home and you would like more information, please call us toll free at 1-800-668-4663 from 8am-4pm Monday to Friday.
Local 613 230 4663
Toll-Free 1 800 668 4663
What to do if your child runs away?
Youth run away for many reasons: to protest against family rules / conditions; assert their independence; to flee an abusive environment; familial breakdown; peer pressure; mental health / addictions issues. For the most part, youth believe running away is the best solution to a seemingly unbearable situation. Generally speaking, the child leaves voluntarily without the permission of the parent or guardian. We hope the information below will help you to find your child.
1. Telephone and Internet Search
Call family members, relatives and friends to help you. It is important to leave your line free in case your child calls home. Encourage your helpers to use their phone to conduct the telephone searches. Call your child’s friends and school to see if you can find out anything about the runaway.
Verify Social Media Accounts. Parents should check Facebook and the last time their child logged on and messaged friends or posted something in the news thread.
2. Land Search
Have some of your family members and friends to do a basic land search. Go through the neighbourhood area and places where your child might be. Places to check include:
- Your home – including the attic, basement, sheds, etc.
- Your child’s routes from school
- School or school yards
- Favourite places to “hangout”
- Shopping malls / corner stores
- Bus stops / bus terminals
- Community centres / drop-in centres
- Parks / play areas / sport facilities
- Homes of your child’s friends, neighbour, and relatives
- Video arcades / hobby shops
- Ex-spouse’s home (if applicable)
3. Call the police
Do not wait too long before contacting your local police about the missing child. The police will put your child description and runaway information into the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) computer system so all police forces in Canada will know that the child is missing.
At the request of the investigating police officer, the child may also be entered on the United States system (NCIC). Depending on your geographical location, the police may wish to notify border crossing and ferry-rail-airport facilities.
Provide the police with detailed information on your child. This includes:
- Child’s name
- Recent CLEAR photographs
- Height and weight information
- Description and location of scars, birthmarks
- Other identifiable descriptions, such as hair colour, glasses, earrings, braces
- Date and location of where your child was last seen
- The last person your child might have talked to before he / she ran away
You may consider requesting an Apprehension Warrant or Form “2” at your local Justice of Peace’s office, if you believe the youth in question will either harm him / herself or others. This optional process, although sometimes not necessary, will give the police more authority to pick up the youth.
4. Contact Operation Come Home 1-800-668-4663
Operation Come Home maintains a list of missing youth. When filing the missing report with us, we will ask you to provide us with the same types of information as outlined above for the police. The report is further distributed to various youth serving agencies in the city. These youth agencies can make sure the youth is safe, and inform the police of the youth’s whereabouts.
Operation Come Home has a team of dedicated outreach volunteers that walk around in the downtown Ottawa in the evenings. These outreach crews give out supplies such as socks, granola bars, gloves, condoms and other essential items. The outreach crews are the eyes and ears of Operation Come Home; they talk to youth on the street and ask if any of the youth have seen the missing person. The outreach volunteers will then relay all the information to police services.
You have done all you can, stay calm and look after yourself.
The following links are provided as a courtesy service to assist you in locating additional sources for more detailed information. Operation Come Home is not responsible for information obtained from other sources. To report problems with links or to suggest new links, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
|www.bccf.bc.ca||B.C.Council for Families||Information, articles on parenting issues, publication list|
|www.netparents.org||Resources for Internet Parents (U.S.)||Blocking software, kid-safe sites|
|www.positiveparenting.com||Positive parenting, Ventura, CA (U.S.)||Resources & information, workshops, bulletin board, Live Chat|
|www.vpp.com/teenhelp||National hotline (U.S.)||Information for parents, professionals|
|www.freevibe.com||National Youth Anti-Drug Media||Advice for parents, children and teens|
|www.parenthelpline.ca||Parents help line||Advice for parents, children and teens|
|http://www.childcybersearch.org||For abducted children||Locate abducted children|
|http://www.nrscrisisline.org||National Runaway Switchboard (U.S.A. only)||Provides a 24/7 Hotline in the U.S.A. for runaway, homeless youth and their families. Also provides bus tickets home for appropriate runaway youth and their families, conference calls between youth and families and youth and referral sources such as youth shelters. Please visit the website for details.|