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Unattended Child Policy

Unattended Child Policy

The Fort Worth Library endeavors to provide a welcoming, pleasant, and safe environment for all Library users. However, parents are responsible for the well-being of their children who are visiting the Library or using the Library’s services.

  • The Fort Worth Library assumes no responsibility for children left unattended on the Library premises. The Library staff is not legally authorized to act in place of parents. Staff members are responsible for assisting all Library customers and cannot adequately monitor unattended children.
  • A child 10 years old and under should not be at the Library without the supervision of a parent, responsible adult, or sibling 14 years old and above.
  • To promote the safety of children, the Library expects parents, or a responsible caregiver, to stay with children in their care in the Library. (see Texas Penal Code, Title 5, Chap. 22) Children in the library are expected to observe the Library Behavior Policy.
  • Sudden emergencies may occur in the library and in such cases the Library assumes no responsibility for an unattended child. Parents, guardians, or caregivers should be sure their children know what to do or where to go when the library closes.
  • Library staff will assist children who appear unattended or in distress in the Library by attempting to contact their parents or caregivers either within or outside the Library. If a parent or appropriate caregiver cannot be located, the Library will place the child in the care of the Fort Worth Police Department.
  • When a staff member observes suspected abuse or neglect on the part of a parent or responsible caregiver, staff may contact the police, social services, or another agency about a child in danger at the Library.

Specific to the Central Library Youth Center

  • The Central Library’s Youth Center is specifically designed to serve the needs of children and their families.  Adults visiting without children present are welcome to select materials for check out but will be directed to more appropriate areas of the building if they wish to stay for an extended period of time.


Fort Worth Police Department – 817-392-4222
Safe Place (ACH Child and Family Services) – 817-335-4673
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services Hotline – 800-252-5400

Last updated: June 13, 2014