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Can I Leave My Kids Home Alone? Child neglect and related crimes in Oregon


Wondering how to interpret Oregon’s Child Neglect statutes in ORS Chapter 163.505 et seq.Offenses against the family,” including but not limited to sections 163.545 And 163.547?

This (undated) Oregon Department of Human Services FAQ has these Home Alone tips, on page 4 of the PDF:

Can a child be left home alone at the age of ten?
Age alone does not determine a child’s ability to be safe while alone. However, Oregon law indicates a child under age 10 may not be left alone for a period that could endanger their welfare.

The U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Child Welfare Information Gateway has a valuable fact sheet for families called “Leaving Your Child Home Alone.” It walks adults through considerations such as:

Age and maturity
When and how long the child is left alone (circumstances)
The child’s understanding of safety skills (how to handle an emergency)
Whether the child is ready to care for younger children, and
Tips for parents as to how to prepare their child.” [Link to the PDF.]

That U.S. DHHS Children’s Bureau document and checklist is definitely worth reading (2018): Leaving Your Child Home Alone (PDF)

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