Children staying home


#1

no, we went through this last year. The only thing we were able to discover for NC is that the fire dept does not advise children under the age of 8 to be left at home alone for any length of time. Beyond that for DSS purposes it is dependent on:
-the maturity of the individual child
-how long the child is left alone
-do they know what to do in an emergency
-are there neighbors or nearby adults they can go to


#2

There is no specific age when a child can be left home alone. You should use your best parental judgment when making this decision.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Voice: 704.307.4600
Main Fax: 704.943.0044

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#3

What about 2 children (ages 10 and 15) who were left alone in the middle of the night for about 6 hours while their father snuck off to a motel with his girlfriend. (He didn’t tell them he was leaving but fortunately they never woke up or needed help thru the night.)

He is not asking for custody, so I just guess this would look like an issue of poor judgement.


#4

This is an issue of poor judgment. If you are litigating this issue you can bring it up with the court and ask that they order he not leave the children home alone at night.

Helena M. Nevicosi
Attorney with Rosen Law Firm

4101 Lake Boone Trail, Suite 500
Raleigh, North Carolina 27607
919.787.6668 main phone
919.787.6361 main fax

301 McCullough Drive
Suite 510
Charlotte, NC 28262
Main Voice: 704.307.4600
Main Fax: 704.943.0044

1829 East Franklin Street, Bldg 600
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
919.321.0780 main phone
919.787.6668 main fax

ROSEN.COM

The response posted above is based upon the limited factual information made available and is not intended as a full and complete response to the question. The only reliable manner to obtain complete and adequate legal advice is to consult with an attorney, fully explain your situation, and allow the attorney sufficient opportunity to research the applicable law and facts required to render an accurate opinion. The basic information provided above is intended as a public service but a full discussion with an attorney should be undertaken before taking any action.


#5

Here in Durham County the DSS actually DOES have Guidelines addressing this issue. You should check with your County DSS. The Durham County Publication is called:

“Minimum Standards of Care
Related to NC General Statutes
Regarding Child Abuse, Neglect and Dependency”

Under section III - Standards it talks about:

  1. PROPER SUPERVISION

Children age 5 and under supervised in home and outside play area by visual and auditory contact.

Children age 6-8 not to be left alone more than “a few minutes” (not defined).

Children 9-10 are not left alone for more than two hours.

Children age 11-12 are not left alone more than four hours.

A child between 12 and 16 can supervise other children if they are responsible, mature, has access to emergency plans; can verbalize how to deal with an emergency; can discuss child care for infants or young children (meals, rules, safety); can discuss what they would do if a stranger asked to come into the home; is not fearful of being alone; is not overwhelmed by childcare responsibilities. The period of supervision must not extend beyond a reasonable bedtime; 9:00 p.m. for 12-14 years old and midnight for 15-17 year olds.

A child under the age of 12 should not supervise a child under the age of 2 years. (This conflicts directly with the age given above for being allowed to supervise other children, no explanation given).

A child 16 years of age and older may be left alone over night if the parent is scheduled to work at night or is forced to attend a medical emergency, as long as the child is not involved in unacceptable or illegal behavior and there is a plan for his/her security and safety.

THIS IS NOT MEANT TO BE ANY SORT OF LEGAL ADVICE. CHECK WITH DSS IN YOUR OWN COUNTY.


#6

Is there a legal age in North Carolina that a child has to be to be able to stay home by themselves?

brayburn