Mom charged with leaving son, 6, home alone

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A mother was arrested Wednesday on a charge that she left her 6-year-old son alone at home, a Richmond County sheriff's report states.

A deputy was sent to the Westchester Apartments in the 2900 block of Arrowhead Drive around 4:30 a.m. for a welfare check on the child. He said he found the child alone, but was able to reach the child's mother, Chiquita Chapman, through a neighbor.

Chapman was arrested on a charge of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and the child was removed from the home by a state social worker.

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qualified
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qualified 02/17/11 - 12:43 am
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If your child were

If your child were unfortunate enough to be caught in the middle of a divorce/custody case, state social workers DO NOT get involved as the children's well-being and care is left to a JUDGE. Most people would never believe that a judge has the right to do as he/she wishes...no oversight. A child can be placed in custody of a known substance abuser or negligent parent who DOES leave their child unattended, the judge may have full knowledge of the fact, and the judge can give custody to that parent. The opposing parent has no other options under a judge like that. It is the standard that the judge looks at the best interests of the children, that is not always the case-especially now in Augusta, GA. Luckily for this child, someone alerted state social workers who were allowed to do their job, which it appears they did. Depending upon who you are in Augusta, who your lawyer is and which Superier Court judge you may happen to be assigned to, anything can occur. It is tragic for our youth in Augusta that this is allowed.

nofrills
0
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nofrills 02/17/11 - 07:38 am
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Thank god this child didnt

Thank god this child didnt slip through the cracks.

sugarbutton
884
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sugarbutton 02/17/11 - 08:15 am
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Believe me, I understand

Believe me, I understand custody issues. We were lucky enough to have an atty and an appointed guardian ad litem for the child we have in our home and it still took a year of bs from the birth family who thought they wanted him when we took steps in making it legal. He's been here since he was a few months old and is now almost three. I didn't think everything was fair during the 12 month, but in the end it worked out. He's one who has a safe home in spite of his family. You just always pray pray pray for the safety of these children when time is against you.

WW1949
19
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WW1949 02/17/11 - 09:36 am
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What a dumb mother is all I

What a dumb mother is all I can say. Thanks goodness the child is safe.

dani
12
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dani 02/17/11 - 09:56 am
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Poor, poor child.

Poor, poor child.

kmb413
533
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kmb413 02/17/11 - 10:38 am
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There is no set age limit in

There is no set age limit in Georgia to be able to leave a child home alone. I personally won't leave my 6 year old home alone, but it isn't a crime. The article missed some information for us to draw conclusions for. How long was the child home alone? Was the child in danger? Was there abuse?
How exactly is this contributing to the delinquency of a minor? I guess that is the charge in place of neglect?

seenitB4
87043
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seenitB4 02/17/11 - 11:47 am
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Sad for the child....this

Sad for the child....this reminds me of an incident where the mother couldn't find or afford day care & she hid the child in the back part of the car while she worked---checked on the child during the day---this didn't work either--BUT no one asks where is the FATHER...why doesn't he help watch the child----the female gives birth & is considered responsible for the child 24 hours a day---what is wrong with this picture----if she is alone & is trying to work, it isn't a perfect world..
Teach birth control--self control in high schools pleeeeze.

swinter05
5
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swinter05 02/17/11 - 12:58 pm
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the age that a child can

the age that a child can begin staying at home alone, is 13 I believe, and this is for no more than 2 hours....I may be off a little, but it's something like that

smec29
31
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smec29 02/17/11 - 01:31 pm
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swinter - kmb is correct,

swinter - kmb is correct, there is no set age in GA

kmb413
533
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kmb413 02/17/11 - 01:32 pm
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neglectful supervision -

neglectful supervision - Placing a child in or failing to remove a child from a situation that a reasonable person would realize requires judgment or actions beyond the child's level of maturity, physical condition or mental abilities and that results in bodily injury or substantial risk of immediate harm to the child.

kmb413
533
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kmb413 02/17/11 - 01:34 pm
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http://www.latchkey-kids.com/

http://www.latchkey-kids.com/latchkey-kids-age-limits.htm

Georgia does not set a specific age to be left alone, but there are recommendations.

jdsgirl63
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jdsgirl63 02/17/11 - 01:49 pm
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Thankfully, this child was

Thankfully, this child was taken out of the home. Hopefully, the mother will take parenting classes, and will recognize her severe error in judgment, then be able to make safe arrangements for the child in the future. While it's good that someone contacted the authorities about this child, it means at least one person was aware this child was alone - it's frightening to me that it could have been someone who could have done harm to the child. I'm grateful this story didn't end like so many of these stories do. I wish the best for this child and the mother.

Ashleyn1
44
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Ashleyn1 02/17/11 - 03:11 pm
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Like most states, Georgia

Like most states, Georgia does not have regulations or laws to determine when a child is considered old enough to care for her/himself or to care for other children. However, there are state guidelines administered through the Division of Family and Children Services to evaluate situations and determine if a child neglect investigation is warranted. DFCS encourages parents to use sound judgment and assess the maturity and responsibility of their children before deciding whether to leave them home alone.

"Leaving a child at home alone should never be an easy decision for a parent," said Mary Dean Harvey, director of the Division of Family and Children Services. "Many cases of neglect can be avoided if parents carefully weigh their options before leaving children unsupervised. A healthy and safe environment for the child should be at the forefront of any parent’s mind," she said.

Georgia’s Guidelines for leaving a child without adult supervision:

Children under 8 years old should never be left alone, even for short periods of time.
Children between the ages of 9 and 12, based on level of maturity, can be left home alone for brief periods of time.
Children 13 and older can generally be left as babysitters, with the exception of children in foster care. It is not recommended, however, that 13 year olds baby sit infants, small children and children that require special attention due to medical conditions.
Children 15 and older can be left home alone overnight, depending on the level of maturity of the child.
Other safety precautions to consider when leaving a child unaccompanied: Don’t leave the child responsible for food preparation that involves the stove; have a neighbor or relative check in regularly or have the child check in with an adult; make a safety plan that includes 911, and rehearse it with your child.

http://dfcs.dhr.georgia.gov/portal/site/DHS-DFCS/menuitem.8237042e9dbda3...

Ashleyn1
44
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Ashleyn1 02/17/11 - 03:13 pm
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I personally am a mother of a

I personally am a mother of a 12 & 13 year old. My 13 year old is very mature and I know she is capable of being home alone for a few hours. However, my 12 year old can not, she has to have her older sister there or she can't stay. All children are different, even if raised in the same home. BUT NO 6 to 10 year old should ever be left alone. Period. And as for the comment on "where's the father", we can't necessarily blame him, maybe he doesn't know that the child is being left, maybe he doesn't even know about the child!

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