(ANTIMEDIA) — A suburban Chicago mother’s decision to let her eight-year-old walk their family dog around the block in their upscale neighborhood earlier this month led a neighbor to call the police, as well as child protective services.
“I think it’s a crazy waste of resources,” said Corey Widen, the girl’s mother.
The neighbor who called the police apparently claimed the girl was younger than five and had been alone for more than 90 minutes.
“She was gone for five minutes,” Widen said. “I was in the backyard and I could see her through the yard.”
The police called to her Wilmette home determined there was no wrongdoing, but the neighbor had already called the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS), which launched an inquiry within a couple of days.
“Apparently this (neighbor) was not happy with (police), and they called DCFS and told them my daughter was under five and had been unsupervised for over an hour and a half,” Widen said.
As she told a local CBS affiliate:
“You never know who did this to you and it turns your life upside down. I’m a homeschooled mom and I’m always with my kids. You can accuse me of a lot of things, not supervising them, is not one of them. My entire life revolves around them.”
DCFS, like the police, also determined the claims were unfounded. “We don’t control the calls that come into our hotline. Something made someone think that there was a concern, and we don’t know without checking it out,” they said.
Though the matter was resolved, it highlights Americans’ growing dependence on government authorities to resolve matters. Rather than speaking to the mother directly about potential concerns, the neighbor’s first resort was to anonymously call multiple agencies.
As the Chicago Tribune noted:
“Mothers in the Chicago area and across the country have found themselves at the center of investigations by police or child welfare officials after their children were spotted alone but unharmed — playing in parks or left for minutes in a car parked outside a store — activities that could pass for typical or harmless but now are perceived by some as unacceptable.”
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