Home alone – is your child ready?

  • How will you decide if your child is ready to be left home alone?
  • The Home Alone brochure can help.
  • Consider making decisions with the help of other people who care about you and your children.

One of the tough decisions that parents have to make is gauging when their child is able to be left home alone. Because there are no hard and fast rules, and because children mature at different rates, this decision must be made on an individual basis.

In 2008, the Department of Human Services (DHS), The Fred Rogers Company, Family Resources , A Child’s Place at Mercy and other local organizations met with the goal of developing a campaign to create more awareness about the importance of not leaving young children at home unsupervised, or supervised by other young children.  As a result, a booklet was developed to help families decide if their child is ready to be left alone at home.

That booklet, “Home Alone: Is Your Child Ready, Will Your Child Be Safe?”  has now been revised and updated based on feedback from child care professionals.  The information needed by parents remains the same, in an updated brochure format and also includes child-care resource suggestions for parents who decide that their child is not ready to be left home alone.

Since its initial distribution, more than 80,000 copies of the original booklet have been distributed throughout Allegheny County.  Pittsburgh Public Schools, county private and parochial schools and 16 additional districts have joined us in this effort by distributing to parents of elementary age children.

The Home Alone brochure download

Printable brochures, a list of all assisting partners and a page of additional resources are also listed on the Department of Human Services website www.alleghenycounty.us/dhs/homealone.aspx