Reason - Remember the mom put on Illinois Child Abuse Registry for letting her kids, ages 11, 9, and 5, play at the park just outside her house?
The state’s appellate court has thrown out the “child neglect citation” against her, after a mere two-and-a-half-year battle with the Department of Child and Family Services. She was helped by the scrappy, brilliant Family Defense Center in Chicago. As the Chicago Tribune reports:
“I’m just relieved this is over,” said Natasha Felix, a 27-year-old single mother. “I knew that I didn’t do anything wrong.”
In July 2013, the three children — then ages 11, 9 and 5 — were left under the supervision of the eldest boy. A passer-by saw the Felix boys, along with their 9-year-old cousin, playing and called the DCFS hotline, unaware that Felix was checking on them from the window of her East Ukrainian Village apartment every 10 minutes, she said.
The youngsters were unharmed, but she was cited for child neglect under a category called “inadequate supervision.” The state statute defines this as “a child under the age of 14 whose parent … leaves the minor without supervision for an unreasonable amount of time, without regard for the mental or physical health or safety of the minor.”
The children were not removed from her home, but the finding of neglect kept her from volunteering at their school and limited her job prospects as the allegation remained in the state’s central registry.
But this week, DCFS reversed course and has filed no opposition to this motion, according to court documents.
Note: Your editor was working on a farm when he was 13 and driving a six wheel Army surplus personnel carrier on the farm when he was 14. It was not considered unusual.