1. At what age can I leave my child home alone?
Berks County Children and Youth Services recommends that a child be at least 12 years of age to be left home alone, or in any sort of babysitting capacity. Certain other factors should also be taken into consideration when making this decision as well. Factors include the child’s maturity and level of comfort, the duration and frequency of time left alone, the ages, number and special needs of the children being cared for and the availability of help or assistance to the babysitter.
2. Does Berks County Children and Youth Services handle private adoptions?
No, however there are organizations in the community that can be contacted for this service. They can be located on the web at http://www.adoptpakids.org/paeagencylist2.asp
3. Can Berks County Children and Youth Services assist me with my custody/visitation concerns/disputes?
Berks County Children and Youth Services only handles issues related to specific allegations of child abuse or neglect. For issues of custody or visitation, an attorney must be contacted to make arrangements.
4. Does Berks County Children and Youth Services do custody evaluations?
No, however, there are a variety of community professionals who conduct custody evaluations as required by family court.
5. Does Berks County Children and Youth Services provide for supervised visitation in custody cases?
No, there are community professionals who provide supervised visitation related to custody cases.
6. Does Berks County Children and Youth Services Provide Transportation to its clients?
When warranted, Berks County Children and Youth Services does provide transportation to active clients. We do not provide transportation to citizens who are free of agency involvement.
7. Does Berks County Children and Youth Services provide financial assistance for problems with housing, utilities, etc.?
No, however, there are agencies in the community who may be able to help with this type of assistance.
8. What is Berks County Children and Youth Services’ position regarding spanking and physical discipline?
Berks County Children and Youth Services advocates non-physical forms of discipline such as time-out or loss of privilege. When physical discipline is used, it creates risk for a more serious injury to occur. Also, the use of physical discipline teaches children that violence is an acceptable way to solve problems. The use of physical discipline often causes children to be resentful, angry and bitter. It often utilizes fear of parents to teach lessons rather than respect and understanding to correct behavior.