25pc Oz parents leave kids home-alone

Melbourne, Dec. 8 (ANI): One in four working parents in Australia are leaving their kids, some of whom are as young as 10, alone at home at least once a week, a study has revealed.

The federal government's Growing Up In Australia study, involving 10,000 Australian children, found that twenty percent of kids are left home alone several times a week, the Daily Telegraph reported.

"With the rise in the number of mothers returning to work after having children there may be more children who are at home unsupervised after school than in the past," the researchers' latest report stated.

NSW Minister for Family and Community Services and Women Pru Goward revealed that neighbours had reported thousands of parents to the Department of Community Services in the past year for leaving their kids alone at home.

She said that the department got 24,500 reports of "inadequate supervision."

"In two-thirds of the cases the children were alone but were not really at risk of significant harm," she said.

Researchers asked 4000 children aged 10 and 11 how often they had been left "on their own with no grown ups."

Twenty-nine percent said that had been left alone at least once a week.

Fourteen percent said that they were on their own about once a month and 58 percent reported being alone "a few times or never."

Australian Institute of Family Studies research director Daryl Higgins yesterday said some of the children might have been with older siblings. (ANI)