Direct State Agencies to Focus on REAL Instances of Child Neglect and Allow Maryland Parents to Responsibly Raise Independent Kids Without Fear of a CPS Investigation
This petition made change with 1,013 supporters!
Current Maryland laws regarding child neglect, specifically those dealing with unattended children, have led to a cruel and dramatic overreach by state child protective services and law enforcement into Maryland parents' right to responsibly raise their children into independent young adults. This needs to change!
Both our laws and our culture should respect the value to children of outdoor play as well as the healthy independence and self-reliance developed through carefully afforded freedom from constant adult supervision. At the same time, the agencies tasked with protecting our children are underfunded and overstretched. Though written with the best of intentions, laws which attempt to keep every child everywhere safe from harm will only lead to the opposite: agencies stretched so thin that they cannot focus on real instances of child neglect.
Meanwhile, lack of affordable daycare for working families means that parents often rely on responsible older siblings to participate in the responsibilities of child care. This is both desirable and beneficial not only for families which do not have the means to employ full-time caretakers or enroll their young children in full-time daycares, but also for older siblings who learn important family skills.
Finally, for most families and in most cases, it is parents, not the state, who are the best judges of whether and when their children can handle certain responsibilities. The line between responsible parents who seek to empower their kids to become independent young adults and parents whose decisions reflect abuse and neglect must be made clearer, so that parents can make responsible parenting decisions without fear of triggering a CPS investigation, and the state agencies whose job it is to protect our children do not waste resources by investigating cases of responsible parenting.
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