CHICAGO (CBS) — State officials have backed down after a two-year fight with a single mother accused of neglect for allowing her three boys to play alone at a playground right outside her window.
In July 2013, Natasha Felix let her kids – then ages 11, 9, and 5, go outside to play under the supervision of the eldest brother, and checked on them every few minutes from the window of her East Ukrainian Village apartment building.
When a passerby saw the boys playing without an adult in sight, she assumed they were not being supervised, and called the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services.
The state’s child welfare agency cited Felix for neglect, under a provision called “inadequate supervision,” and Felix has challenged that decision ever since.
On Monday, the Illinois Appellate Court threw out the case, after DCFS reversed course under new acting director George Sheldon, and agreed Felix should be cleared. DCFS spokeswoman Veronica Resa said the agency has agreed to expunge the record.
“The department will take a closer look at similar cases to ensure that we allow parents [and] caretakers to be prudent,” Resa said.