We have all seen the classic movie "Home Alone" in which eight-year-old Kevin McCallister is accidentally left home alone while his family goes on Christmas vacation. In reality, the McCallister parents should have probably been charged with negligent supervision. Of course, that was just a movie. In Pennsylvania, there is no set age limit that allows a child to be legally left home alone. However, if a parent decides to leave a child home alone, that child is still the parent's responsibility. So that means if anything happens to the child, the parents can be charged with neglect.
Sometimes, during a PA custody case, the court will appoint a Guardian ad litem ("GAL") to the case. A GAL is appointed to represent the best interest of the child. Basically, the GAL is the child's advocate. The GAL also functions as a caseworker for the child. The GAL will observe the child and report any findings back to the court just like a caseworker in a dependency case would do.