CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Two caregivers in two separate cases are in trouble with the police are leaving young children home alone.
A mother in Clover, South Carolina is accused of leaving her children ages seven and three home alone while she went to the store. According to police, Shaneka McDowell went to a fast food restaurant around 7:00 a.m. Her three-year-old daughter walked out of their home and was discovered by a cousin who lives next door.
The cousin says the toddler had urinated on herself and the front porch. The cousin called police to report that the children were home alone. When officers arrived, they checked the home and found the seven-year-old asleep in bed. After a short while, McDowell returned home and was taken into custody.
She is now facing charges of child neglect. Her cousin told police that she has left the children home alone on a number of occasions. Police are now investigating that claim.
In Charlotte, another caregiver was cited with child neglect also. Police say Franco Lawango left four children home alone for more than an hour. The children were ages eight, six, four, and one year old. They were not harmed during the incident.
Neither North Carolina nor South Carolina have a law that specifically prohibits children of a certain age from being left home alone.
According to DSS employees in South Carolina, they make decisions on whether children can be left unattended on a case-by-case basis. A spokesperson for the department of health and human services in North Carolina says that there is a fire code that prohibits children under the age of eight from being left alone but there are no child welfare laws regarding unattended children
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