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CPS Charges Parents With ‘Neglect’ For Allowing Kids to Walk Home From Playground

Published: March 6, 2015
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Source: Today Show

The Meitiv family

The Maryland parents under investigation over letting their children walk home by themselves have been found "responsible for unsubstantiated child neglect" by local child protective services.

Danielle and Alexander Meitiv said they received a letter last weekend notifying them of the Feb. 20 decision in a case that has garnered national debate over parenting styles and philosophy. They plan to appeal the finding but said they first consulted with an attorney before commenting publicly Monday.

Officials began investigating Meitiv and her husband after someone called police last Dec. 20 to report that their children — Rafi, 10, and Dvora, 6 — were walking home from a playground about a mile away from their house in Silver Spring, a Maryland suburb outside Washington, D.C.

Police had also received an anonymous call about the kids two months earlier, on Oct. 27, after the kids were playing at a closer park, just blocks away from their home. That case was later dropped by CPS.

A finding of "unsubstantiated" child neglect is essentially a middle ground of three possible findings local child protective service departments can reach; the other two are "ruled out" or "indicated." It indicates there may be some evidence but not enough information to prove neglect occurred. An "unsubstantiated" case remains in the state's database for five years and then is expunged — if no additional reports are added to the file.

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