What can I do about the unsupervised kids running around my neighborhood?

Your Life
April, 2016

There are some little kids who run all over our neighborhood without supervision. I don’t think 7-year-olds should be up and down the street without an adult watching them. What can I do? Should I report this to Child Protective Services?

First of all, it’s great to hear that kids are playing outside, instead of sitting in front of a video game! I commend you for caring about the neighborhood children, but before you rush for the phone to call Child Protective Services (CPS), stop a moment and take stock:

  1. Are the children in visible danger? Are they running in front of cars or talking to strangers?
  2. Are they really unsupervised, or could there be a parent/care-giver checking on them from a window?
  3. Is your neighborhood particularly dangerous? If you know something about hidden dangers, you should mention them to the parents.

If you have reason to believe the children are being abused or actually neglected, you should call CPS. But going out to play after school isn’t a sign of abuse.

And let’s remember the psalm: “Behold, children are a gift of the Lord, the fruit of the womb is a reward.” (127:3)