Montana Code Annotated § 45 makes it a crime for anyone supervising the welfare of a child less than 18 years old to commit the offense of endangering the welfare of children by knowingly violating a duty of care, protection, or support. This seems to be a very broad, open-ended discretionary law that opens up people to prosecution for many actions without specifically affording notice as to the illegality of the conduct. It basically criminalizes any legal or common law breach of duty towards a child of any age.
The Youth Court Act in Montana broadly defines “Physical neglect” as either failure to provide basic necessities, including general supervision, or exposing or allowing the child to be exposed to an unreasonable physical or psychological risk to the child. Mont. Code Ann. § 41-3-102(20). Some guidance in Montana’s child welfare brochure is good: It says, “There is no magic age when children develop the maturity and good sense they need to stay home alone. Mature children in a neighborhood with several adult friends nearby may be all right alone for a few hours. For younger children, one hour may be too long. YOU need to decide if the time alone is too much, based on your child and your situation.” REFERENCE: Child Supervision Flyer.
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.