At what age can I leave my child home alone?

There is no law in Delaware regulating an appropriate age for a child to be left home alone. If you feel that a child is not safe being left home alone, regardless of their age, you should make a report to the Division of Family Services at 1-800-292-9582 or online at If you believe that a child is in imminent danger, contact 9-1-1.

It is best for parents and guardians to take in consideration their child’s comfort level, abilities, and overall behavior and to talk to them about potential dangers (fire safety, what to do if someone comes to the door, etc.) before making the decision to leave a child home alone.

What help is available for my out-of-control teenager?

The Delaware Children’s Department provides and manages a range of services for children who have experienced abandonment, abuse, adjudication, mental illness, neglect, or substance abuse. Services include prevention, early intervention, assessment, treatment, permanency and after care.

If your teen is injured or is an immediate threat to themselves or others, call 911.

If your teen is experiencing a mental health or substance use emergency, please call the DPBHS 24-hour Mobile Response and Stabilization Services center at 1-800-969-4357. If appropriate, a therapist will talk to you and your child and help you develop a safety plan. The Hotline worker will also assist you in obtaining other mental health services if help is not needed immediately.

For assistance with non-emergency behavioral health concerns, please call our Division of Prevention and Behavioral Health Services Intake Unit weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at 302-633-2571 or 1-800-722-7710 or email at:

Additional resources:
Delaware 2-1-1 – a resource directory that lists resources across the state of Delaware and across agencies. This directory offers search by keyword, topics, and an online crisis chat. Dial 2-1-1 or dial 1-800-560-3372 or text your Zip Code to 898-211.
• A free ‘Strengthening Families’ course that offers parents and children skills training in how to better communicate with each other and work together as a family to resolve issues. This course is offered by Children and Families First who can be reached at 1-800-734-2388.
• A course entitled ‘Teens Come without Instructions’ offered by Child Inc. This course is also designed to strengthen communication and gives information on effective discipline of teens. Child Inc can be reached at 302-762-8989.