Indiana Code Annotated § 35-46-1-4 makes it a crime to place a dependent child (for whom the person charged with the crime has legal responsibility) in a situation that endangers the dependent’s life or health. This is a broad and vague law but is not specific as to children left alone.
A child is considered neglected under Indiana Family Code and Juvenile Law if the child is “seriously impaired or seriously endangered as a result of the inability, refusal, or neglect of the child’s parent, guardian, or custodian to supply the child with necessary food, clothing, shelter, medical care, education, or supervision.” Ind. Code Ann. § 31-34-1-1. Indiana policy very broadly states that child are neglected when they are injured when not supervised, including by being placed with an “inappropriate caregiver” including children over 12. This policy is hard to understand and gives no real guidance to parents.
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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