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Home Alone Frequently Asked Questions

TRENDS:  How many “home alone” situations does CYF see?
About 20 cases per month are “home alone” situations.

How many are related to single-parent situations?
Generally, most are single-parent situations.

What are the laws regarding age?  Are there other determinations?
There are no laws or regulations in Pennsylvania.

Items to consider:

  • Length of time left alone.
  • Child’s ability to care for themselves
  • Child’s ability to handle emergencies
  • Child’s knowledge of emergency phone numbers
  • Availability of support back-ups

What does CYF look for when assessing a situation?

  • CYF considers the risk presented to the kids by the situation or the behavior of the parent.  CYF follows a formal risk assessment procedure and model.  The model used locally is the same model used across the state.  It is used in both call-in situations and for on-site interviews.
  • CYF may utilize previous information and police information to help make a judgment about risk.

What is considered a risk?
More often, there is more than one factor.