One of the most frequent questions we are asked here at the Bolton Safeguarding Children Board is – “when can children be left ‘home alone’?”
The simple answer is that there is no legal age at which children may be left home alone, but parents can be prosecuted for neglect if it puts them at risk of injury or suffering.
Taking the decision to leave a child home alone will often depend on the maturity of the child, the length of time they are being left for and how they would cope if there was an emergency.
The NSPCC have produced a really useful leaflet ‘Home Alone – Your Guide to Keeping Your Child Safe’ that can help and support all those working with families to explore this issue. Click here to access the leaflet.