If we stepped back to the 1960s or 1970s, the term latch-key child was quite common. Parents had to work just to feed their family, and often children from 9 on up were responsible enough that they could come home and manage until one of their parents arrived home. In many cases, the child wasn’t allowed to go in the home, but had to play outside for the 1-2 hours it may take the parent.
No one was ever arrested. This was common in that age.
Just recently, parents in Florida have been charged with child neglect. They were not at home and their 11 year old son came home to a locked door. Instead of whining, the boy did what he had been taught…he shot some hoops with his basketball, but a neighbor decided to call the authorities.
The child was honest and explained that he did not know where his parents were. When they came home after the child was out for 90 minutes, they were charged with neglect claiming the boy had no access to running water, food or a restroom. The parents pointed out that the shed had 2 sinks with running water, and the child had eaten his snack earlier. Also, the child told the parents that the officer left him in the car while he went and relieved himself in the backyard. It seems that restroom was good for the officer laughed Zeca Oliveira of noticias.uol.com.
How far will the government go?