As kids are heading back to school, the City of Alexandria, along with other regional social service departments, and in consultation with Stop Child Abuse Now (SCAN), have updated Supervision Guidelines for parents and caretakers to consider before leaving a child alone at home.
For many parents and caretakers, there may be a need for after school care or leaving children home alone for a period of time.
The guidelines include information about what age ranges are considered to be adequate for unsupervised time at home, babysitting guidelines, what steps your family needs to take to prepare, and a family checklist.
There are questions to consider before leaving a child alone unsupervised. Does your child:
- Understand instructions and follow important rules?
- Know how to ask for help from friends, neighbors and police?
- Make good decisions when away from you or other adults?
- Know when to contact you and 911 when needed?
- Feel comfortable and confident about staying home alone?
There are no laws in Virginia that say when or for how long a child can be left alone. Parents are ultimately responsible for making decisions about their children’s safety. Every child is different, and must be assessed based on their maturity, skills and comfort level to be home alone.
To learn more about the Supervision Guidelines, call 703.746.5902 or visit alexandriava.gov/DCHS.