Filtering by Category: parenting time
What is the minimum age to leave a child home alone?
Most states do not have a minimum age. However, in states that do have a minimum age it ranges from 8 to 14. In Indiana, there is no minimum age, rather the answer is "it depends". According to the Indiana Department of Child Services brochure appropriately titled "Home Alone", "[t}here is no right answer for every child. There is no magic age when a child suddenly becomes responsible and mature. But there are ways to evaluate your child’s capabilities in order to make a more informed decision."
- Nearly 4.5 million children ages 14 and under are injured in the home every year.
- The vast majority of unintentional injury-related deaths among children occurs in the evening hours when children are most likely to be out of school and unsupervised.
- Children are most likely to be victims of violent crimes by non-family members between the hours of 2:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.
- Violent juvenile crimes triple between the hours of 3:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m
Lastly, the brochure offers a "self-test" of questions and issues for parents to consider. The questions include:
- Is your child mature enough to be home alone?
- Can your child handle fear, loneliness, and boredom?
- Is there a responsible adult nearby—a relative or a neighbor—who your child can call for assistance?
- Does your child know emergency procedures?
- Have you reviewed fire escape routes?
- Is there a first aid kit available, and does your child know how to use it?
- Does your child perform everyday tasks such as fixing a snack, dialing the phone, and writing messages?
- Does your child regularly solve small problems without assistance, knowing when it’s okay to ask for help?
- Does your child manage conflicts with/among siblings without adult help?
- Is your child comfortable with the idea of staying alone?
The proposed rules define parenting coordinator as: "an impartial third party qualified under these rules, who is appointed by the court to assist parties in resolving issues and recommending solutions to disputed issues relating to parenting in any action for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, paternity, or guardianship where a minor child is involved."
The proposed rules provides that following persons may qualify as a parenting coordinator:
- The Parenting Coordinator shall at all times be a registered Indiana domestic relations mediator.
- The Parenting Coordinator shall be a licensed mental health provider as defined at Ind. Code § 31-33-25-4, with a minimum of a master’s degree in a mental health or related field, or an attorney licensed to practice law in Indiana with substantial family law practice experience.
- The Parenting Coordinator shall have at least five years experience in their profession with high conflict or litigating parents.
- The Parenting Coordinator shall have training in the parenting coordination process, family dynamics in separation and divorce, parenting coordination techniques, domestic violence and child maltreatment. The training shall consist of a minimum of twenty hours of Indiana Supreme Court Commission for Continuing Legal Education approved parenting coordinator training, to include at least five hours of domestic violence training.
- A Parenting Coordinator shall maintain professional competence in the parenting coordination process. A Parenting Coordinator may participate in peer consultation or mentoring to receive feedback and support on cases.