As a parent, I always consider the What if's. We pack our diaper bags for our worst case scenarios; snack, diapers, wipes, toys, binky, extra bottle in case the first one spills. We never want to be caught off guard, but sometimes it happens.
And it has been happening, because there is a piece missing from the normal protection of our kids.
Consider the following scenarios:
It's date night and your kid(s) are home with a babysitter, or grandma. There's an awful car accident and you both are rushed to the hospital.
One of you is on a work trip, and the other who is home with the kids, gets into an accident or has a heart attack.
You have a Will naming Guardians for your children, but they live a couple of hours away, or out of state, and unfortunately something has happened that requires the need for them to come take custody of your children.
I know they are not fun scenarios, but avoiding those possibilities does nothing to help you prepare for the fact that they could happen, and so could many other scenarios. And if they do, here is what would happen, according to a police officer I spoke with:
To start, there is no procedure police have to follow in these situations, it is basically a reasonable test for what to do with your children. If the kids are asleep and the babysitter is over 18 years old, they might ask the babysitter to stay the night. Most likely, an officer will attempt to find someone who is related to you, or someone who is a friend. While they are looking for someone, your children will be with police officers, which, to kids, translates to strangers. Whomever they find that fits the description of family or friend, and who is willing to watch your kids, will get them. No background check.
And if it is midnight and no one is answering their phone? Police can only hold the children for a few hours until they then turn them over to Child Protective Services.
This would all happen even if you have a Will. Because the Will needs to be accessed. And what if your named Guardians are out of town? What if you didn't die? Did you know a Will is only implemented at death?
So, to avoid your children going to your husband's brother who can't keep a plant alive, or your mother-in-law who rarely sees your kids, or a friend your kids don't know, or to Child Protective services, I have created the Emergency Contact Kit.
Because, maybe you know your husband's brother who can't keep a plant alive loves your kids, and you know they would be safe, but you also know your kids wouldn't be comfortable there and you would prefer them be with someone else, especially in a situation that is already scary for them.
This package allows you to choose who you would want to take emergent temporary custody of your children in a way that is easy for them to show a police officer, and includes a way for nanny's and babysitters to have quick access to any person's information that you would want contacted in the event of an emergency.
This package can be purchased a la carte or added to any Will or Trust package. Because every parent deserves to know their children will be comfortable and well cared for in every situation.