A mother in Canada is worried about losing her children after a neighbor reported them playing within the family’s enclosed backyard.
Child and Family Services (CFS) earlier this month investigated Winnipeg mom Jacqui Kendrick conducting a “well being check” following a report that her children were seen playing in her fenced-in backyard unsupervised.
“(The worker was) asking me about if we’ve ever dealt with CFS before, what my childhood was like, how I punish my children, whether we drink or do drugs…she had to look to see where my kids slept. She had to see if we had enough food in the house,” Kendrick described, adding the confusing encounter left her in tears.
Kendrick told CTV she’s always mindful of her children, ages two, five and 10, and is “completely comfortable” letting them play in the backyard while she visually supervises them from the deck or living room.
She also asserted her 10-year-old watches over his siblings and that the children know to be wary of strangers.
“We’ve taught both the (older) kids so far that you look after each other,” Kendrick told CTV. “That’s kind of the point. The older ones should be looking after the younger ones.”
“My 10-year-old is very responsible. We’ve taught the older ones already the whole ‘stranger danger,’ and they know what to do. When my five-year-old’s out there, she knows she’s not supposed to go up to the fence.”
But the mom is now anxious the visit has resulted in the creation of a CFS file which may be used in the future to take her kids.
“Anyone else ever wants to complain for any reason, there’s always going to be a file there,” she said.
Kendrick also criticized her neighbor for reporting her anonymously.
“If you really had a concern, you could have knocked on my door,” she said.
CTV reports Manitoba law says kids 12 and older may be left at home unattended, however it says nothing about backyards.