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Hi, my name is Sarah, a few weeks ago I was walking out the door to drop off my kids at my cousin's house when I got a call from her. She said something had come up and she couldn’t watch the kids.  This was not the first time this had happened.  I had no warning and I needed to get to work now! I frantically called friends, but no one was able to watch them on such sort notice.  I already knew that I would be late for work and I had to decide right then if I should call in sick and lose a day’s pay, beg my neighbor next door that I didn't know very well to watch them, or have my 9-year-old, Amanda, be in charge of her two younger brothers.

I didn't have a good choice. I knew it was wrong, but I left the kids at home with Amanda anyway while I went to work. I felt so guilty.  My whole shift I worried about the kids. I sneaked away to call and make sure they were okay. At dinner time I called and tried to explain to Amanda how to use a can opener and heat up soup. At work I was worried and nervous, and had a hard time thinking about what I should be doing.

Understanding Sarah's Choice

Family First Academy believes that no one should have to make those kinds of choices.  We understand the predicament that Amanda was facing.  There was not a good solution to her problem and she had to choose what she thought was the best option.  She had been warned that if she called in sick again she would loose her job; she had  called in sick several times before to stay home with the kids when her childcare fell through.  Leaving the kids with strangers seemed very dangerous. So, choosing to leave her kids home with her nine-year-old, who seemed to be a responsible kid, seemed to be the best choice even though she knew that she risked the kids getting hurt, or the consequences if someone turned her in to child protective services.