"There is no Minnesota law that states at what exact age a child must be before he or she may be left home alone or left under the care of another child. There are general laws, however, that require adequate and appropriate supervision of children. County child protection offices are required to investigate and enforce that general law. As a result, Dakota County Child Protection... has adopted a policy, which defines those situations when it will investigate a report of children who may be inadequately supervised. "
Those in search of a legal guideline on this subject may find this document useful. It is mostly bottled common sense which, of course, is what is called for.
"A guardian ad litem is a person appointed by a court to represent the best interests of a child (or children) in court proceedings when they are at risk of being overlooked. There are many cases where a child's interests might be at risk, such as in some of the almost 10,000 divorces of couples with children, and in the 4,800 cases of child abuse or neglect filed in Minnesota courts in 1993." ...
"Many concerns have been raised about the use of guardians ad litem. Most complaints have centered on guardian actions in family court cases, primarily in contested divorce actions. Complaints have focused on guardian bias, lack of oversight and accountability, inadequate training, and inappropriate communication between guardians and judges. Parents have also complained that there is no place to seek relief if they have a problem with a guardian.
In response to legislative concerns, the Legislative Audit Commission directed us to evaluate guardian ad litem services."
Published February 28, 1995.
125 page report and summary of legal issues involving children and youth prepared for the Minnesota House of Representatives. In Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. Youth and the Law is a cooperative project by Legislative Analysts in the Research Department of the Minnesota House of Representatives. Includes information about economic protection (child support, property rights, and employment), educational rights and responsibilities, family relations, health and social services, unlawful acts by, and against, youths, and youth and the courts. A must read document!
This document states that it is a reprint of an article appearing in the August 2000 issue of the Guttmacher Report on Public Policy, with research supported in part by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.
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