Illinois Criminal Code at 720 ILCS 5/12C-5 provides that it is criminal endangerment to put children in circumstances that put their life or health in danger. 720 ILCS 5/12C-10 makes abandonment of a child for over 24 hours a crime. Children unattended for more than 10 minutes in a car if under six years old are considered endangered under this section unless accompanied by someone 14 or older.
705 ILCS 405/2-2, which contains the Illinois definition of neglect, provides that a child can be deemed neglected if any minor under the age of 14 years whose parent or other person responsible for the minor’s welfare leaves the minor without supervision for an unreasonable period of time without regard for the mental or physical health, safety, or welfare of that minor. There are many factors listed in the law that affect what is considered “reasonable.” As a result of litigation, Illinois rules defining inadequate supervision create tight definitions of each of the possible ways children can be left alone outside, in the community, at home, in vehicles and with caregivers. 89 Ill. Admin. Code 300/74.
This webpage is not a legal document, and Let Grow does not take responsibility for the content. Be mindful that some localities have rules and guidelines even when the state does not. When in doubt, consult your local authorities to confirm the laws where you live. What’s more, laws change, as do judicial interpretations of them, and this webpage may not be updated immediately.
Right now, most states’ neglect laws are incredibly open-ended. They say things like, “Parent must provide proper supervision.” We agree! But people have different ideas of what that entails. Select a state below to learn more about their laws, policies and how Let Grow is helping.
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