Latch-key Children and their safety

This pertains to the State of Illinois. Our states currently has no legal guideline in place that determines what is considered an appropriate age for a child to be left home alone. There a recommendations that can be found on the DCFS website, but no actual legal precedent that can be followed. I have come into a situation where DCFS, and local law enforcement were asked to check up on two minor children at the ages of 10 and 7 home alone for five hours or more at a time. The police department said they would contact child services to charge the parent responsible if the children were found alone. The children being trained did not answer the door for the local police officer. The 10 year old minor child in great fear hid from the officer inside of the small apartment of their " caretaker" alone in a bathtub. The police unable to enter the apartment with out reason were unable to proceed further. DCFS was notified and upon notification stated the children were old enough to be " Latch-key Children". When asked to provide proof of policy or legal guideline this decision was based upon the agent stated there was no guideline in place. Currently in the state of Illinois no law specifically states at what age a child may nor may not be left alone. DCFS has no specific guideline or policy that regulated what is considered a safe age for a child/siblings to be unattended to by an adult. There are several counties in IL with laws in place that regulate the age, and training of minors who babysit other minors. To my surprise; no law exists to regulate at what age a minor may be responsible for themselves or their siblings. I do not feel an older sibling should be exempt from the standards of a basic babysitter. example ( I asked DCFS if I left my six year old son alone, with access to a cell phone and some food for most of the day;and got home by the child's bedtime to stay overnight with the child.....if that was considered acceptable? I was given a response of silence. ABSURD) If you feel as I do that it is not ok to leave children under the age of pre-teens alone; or alone together for extended periods of time please sign your name below. This petition is going to be forwarded to our State senators, and Governor Quinn.

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