Need-to-know: is my child ready to be left alone?

There is no legal age at which children may be left home alone, but parents can be prosecuted for neglect if it puts them at risk of injury or suffering.

This guide gives sound advice and useful tips to help parents decide in which situations they may leave their children home alone, and what they need to do to ensure their safety and wellbeing.

It explains the risks of leaving babies and younger children unattended, and provides helpful advice on what qualities and experience to look for when choosing a babysitter or appropriate childcare.

There is a quiz for parents and children which explores how the child feels about being left at home alone and what they might do in different scenarios, such as a power cut or if someone came to the door. Parents can fill in the ‘while I’m away’ pull-out with times and contact numbers and stick it on the fridge before they go out.

Also useful for any service or professional offering parenting advice to new parents and those caring for young children or teenagers.


Download Home alone: is my child ready to be left alone? (PDF)


Bea Kay
Safeguarding Children Advisor, Education
Quality Assurance & Involvement Service, People Portfolio
Further information at: Safeguarding Sheffield Children website

Dear Parent / Guardian,
Attitudes in the UK are changing positively towards organ donation in the adult population but we
have a long way to go in improving organ donation rates from children and young people, and in
doing so help save the lives of thousands of people waiting for an organ transplant.
In the UK, consent rates for children's organ donation are well below the national average for the
adult population, with less than 50% of families agreeing to their child becoming an organ donor
when approached at the end of their child’s life.
In 2017/18 when there were over 1500 organ donors, only 39 organ donors were aged 16 years or
younger. This is having a huge negative impact upon children in the UK waiting for a life saving
organ transplant where the wait for a new heart for example, means waiting 2-3 times longer than
an adult.
Legislative changes for organ donation in the UK will most likely have the greatest impact on donation from adults but in March 2019, NHS Blood & Transplant launched it's first ever children's
strategy to try and help bridge the gap between the successes seen in adult organ donation in
comparison to children.
By taking part in this anonymous survey, your answers will help our understanding of the challenges towards children donating their organs at the end of their lives, and help us to identify possible changes that we can make to improve this situation.
To take part in the survey, please use the following link -
Thank you again
Dr Simon Steel
Paediatric Intensive Care Consultant, Sheffield Children’s Hospital
Member of the Paediatric National Organ Donation Committee, NHS Blood & Transplant

Higher education activities and the NCOP programme

Higher education outreach activities are aimed at showing students the higher education opportunities available at college and university, and how completing a higher education course can benefit their job prospects. The activities may also improve students' attainment. The activities are being run by HeppSY, Hepp, Sheffield Hallam University, The University of Sheffield and other approved partners.

The National Collaborative Outreach Programme's (NCOP) aim is to increase the number of young people progressing to university and higher education by 2020. The HeppSY team and their partners are being funded by the Office for Students (OfS) to undertake outreach activities with some young people at your child's school to let them know about the benefits of going into higher education. Your child may have the opportunity to take part in activities such as university campus visits, summer schools, finance workshops and other higher education opportunities

HeppSY parental and student information regarding privacy can now be found at the links below. 

Parental Information Privacy Notice

Student Information Privacy Notice