Our research as to Massachusetts law did not locate a criminal endangerment law or criminal lack of supervision law. There is, however, a crime to abandon a child and that law is interpreted broadly as potentially covering children left alone if they are under 10 years old. See companion juvenile/neglect map for more information about Massachusettes law as reported to Let Grow in its research.
The Code of Massachusetts Regulations ( i.e., the rules, not statutes) at Title 110 §2 defines neglect as failure by a caretaker, either deliberately or through negligence or inability, to take those actions necessary to provide a child with minimally adequate food, clothing, shelter, medical care, supervision, emotional stability and growth, or other essential care; provided, however, that such inability is not due solely to inadequate economic resources or solely to the existence of a handicapping condition. This definition is not dependent upon location (i.e., neglect can occur while the child is in an out-of-home or in-home setting). This is a typical vague neglect law. Massachusetts child abandonment law is interpreted by parents’ groups and criminal law firms to mean it is unlawful to leave a child under age 10 home alone, though the law doesn’t explicitly say so. The abandonment law states, “Whoever abandons an infant under the age of ten within or without any building, or, being its parent, or being under a legal duty to care for it, and having made a contract for its board or maintenance, absconds or fails to perform such contract, and for four weeks after such absconding or breach of his contract, if of sufficient physical and mental ability, neglects to visit or remove such infant or notify the department of his inability to support such infant, shall be punished by imprisonment in a jail or house of correction for not more than two years. …” General Laws, Title XVI-119-39.
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.
There was a problem reporting this post.
Please confirm you want to block this member.
You will no longer be able to:
Please note: This action will also remove this member from your connections and send a report to the site admin. Please allow a few minutes for this process to complete.