• September 30, 2022

What State Can Arrest Parents And Their Kids If They Are Home Alone?

(Counter Current News) A new Illinois law is threatening parents who leave their children home alone if they are 13-years-old or younger. The new Illinois law states that parents who leave 13-year-olds home are guilty of neglect, and subject to arrest, as well as their children being taken away by police.

The new law states that “any minor under the age of 14 years whose parent or other person responsible for the minor’s welfare leaves the minor without supervision for an unreasonable period of time without regard for the mental or physical health, safety, or welfare of that minor” is now considered “neglected.”

 This is the strictest law related to child neglect in the entire nation. Most states do not have a minimum age for leaving children home alone.

In three states, 12 is set as the minimum age. Once you are a teenager, even they say you are old enough to be left home alone.

Three other states set the bar at 8-years-old. Kansas says 6 is the minimum age. But more than 30 states say it is all very relative and the State should not define neglect based upon a sweeping generalization of age.

While the law in Illinois defines neglect only where the child under 14 years old is left without supervision for an unreasonable period of time without regard for his or her mental or physical, health, safety or welfare, it does not define “unreasonable period of time” or “regard for the mental or physical health, safety or welfare.” Rather, it provides a non-exhaustive list of 15 factors for a court to determine. But that provides practically no guidance to a parent trying to decide when they can or can’t leave their 13-year-old without supervision.

Furthermore, those 15 factors are only considered by a court or government official after the child has been taken into custody away from his or her parent, which can be done without a warrant. Even if the child is released back to his or her parent and the court finds no neglect under the factors, having the government take your child away from you for a period of time and being accused of neglecting your child is traumatic. Having to justify to the government that you have not neglected your child can be humiliating and intrusive.

 This process is also traumatic to the child. Being taken into custody could lead the child to believe that he or she has done something wrong. It also communicates to the child the message that their parents are somehow parenting poorly, even if parents are not at fault. It also can signal to the child that his or her independence is disfavored.
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