Not too long ago, my wife and I were out for a walk one cold, snowy day. We heard the happy laughter of children playing nearby. This is always a pleasant sound and we looked around to see where it was coming from. To our surprise, we saw three young children outside alone in the freezing cold. All three were dressed poorly for the weather. One was even outside in just a tee shirt. We did what any responsible adult would do: Find out what was going on and make sure the children were safe.
The youngsters said their mother had locked them out of the house and she was asleep (neither of which turned out to be true) and so we knocked on the door. As it happened, they had simply slipped out to play when Mom’s back was turned.
It is a familiar story. Whether at home, a park or in a store, a child gets out of sight without notice. And the reason is usually not that parents don’t care or are neglectful. Many parents have children that would make Houdini proud. I did and you may have one yourself. But it does happen and sometimes with great harm to the child. Thankfully these little ones hadn’t been outside long, we saw that they lived in a clean, heated home with a family who loved them, and all ended well.
Such an event gives CPS a ready excuse to get involved in your family’s business. Besides the potential to tear your family apart, it could also result in criminal charges of neglect or child endangerment.
My point of telling you the story of our walk in the snow is this: The best advice I can give parents is don’t give CPS a reason to interfere in your family in the first place. And certainly don’t hand them such an easy one as “your small children were found outside unsupervised in freezing temperatures and not properly clothed.” At Cronkright Law, we are committed to the principle that a family with loving parents and without government interference is the best place to raise children. If we can be of assistance to you, it would be our honor.