young people are usually running from something when they leave home, often violence or sexual abuse. They frequently feel it is dangerous for them to remain home, and when they decide they have to leave, it is very difficult to go back. Frequently parents feel as if the child is "admitting they were wrong" by coming back home, when the problem is not with the child, but with how the child relates to them.
It is an extremely complex issue, and it is one that affects as many as three million teens in America. When I was a teenager, my best friend left home at the age of 14. He was intelligent and powerful and these were advantages to his survival on the streets, but he was still a teenager. He tried to return home but could never stay, the problems were too great.