State Laws And Let Grow Updates in Tennessee

State Laws And Let Grow Updates in Tennessee

Let Grow is making a lasting impact across the entire United States. With the help of greater childhood awareness, volunteers and faithful donations, it is our goal to bring Let Grow programs to thousands of schools and neighborhoods across the country. Take a look at what’s happening in Tennessee and how you can help.

State Laws And Let Grow Updates in Tennessee

State Laws And Policies

Criminal Law:

It is child endangerment in Tennessee to knowingly expose a child under age 8 to abuse or neglect resulting in physical injury to the child or to knowingly fail to protect a child from such danger. TCA § 39-15-401. TCA 55-10-803(a) is a specific criminal code related to leaving children in a vehicle; it prohibits a person who is responsible for a child younger than seven years of age from knowingly leaving that child in a motor vehicle located on public property or while on the premises of any shopping center, trailer park, or any apartment house complex, or any other premise that is generally frequented by the public at large, without being supervised in the motor vehicle by a person who is at least thirteen (13) years of age, if:

  1. The conditions present a risk to the child’s health or safety;
  2. The engine of the motor vehicle is running; or
  3. The keys to the motor vehicle are located anywhere inside the passenger compartment of the vehicle.”

While this law is not the most punitive of the “anti-kid-in-car” laws we have reviewed, the fact that it specifically criminalizes leaving any child under 7 and doesn’t limit the “risk” to risk of serious physical harm makes this a punitive law.

Juvenile Court | Child Protective Services | Neglect Law:

TCA 39-15-401 and TCA 37.1.102 provides a broad definition of neglect that includes lack of supervision, but does state that the support the child is denied should be ones “necessary for the child’s well-being based on the age and developmental stages of a child.” A Tennessee courts pamphlet states: “[o]bviously, young children under age 10 should not be left without supervision at any time. In most cases, older teenage children may be left alone for short periods of time.” Tennessee Family Courts FAQ.


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.

Nationwide State Laws And Policies

Learn More About Laws And Policies In Other States

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.