Free-range kids land parents in trouble again

The Maryland parents who got into trouble in January for allowing their children to walk the streets alone were worried this weekend when the 10-year-old and 6-year-old didn’t come home from the park.

The police had them.

WUSA TV reports the two kids were two blocks from home when police picked them, promising them a ride home. Instead, they were taken to Children’s Protective Services offices in Rockville, Md.

The Meitivs said they had taken the children to the park at around 4 p.m. and told them to be home by 6 p.m. When the children hadn’t returned by 6:30, the Meitivs started looking frantically for them.

Social workers did not contact them until after 8 p.m., the couple said. Their children were released to them at 10:30 p.m.

“I can’t believe we’re going through this again,” Sasha Meitiv said. “They’ve been missing since 6 o’clock. Somebody called 911, the police called CPS, they decided to bring the kids here and they didn’t call us.”

To take the children home, the Meitivs had to sign a safety plan that prohibits them from leaving their children unattended, they said.

“We asked them why did they not bring them home,” Rafi Meitiv said. “They just said, ‘We decided the safety of the children was more important.’ “

In March, Children’s Protective Services found the Meitivs responsible for “unsubstantiated” child neglect, and the couple has appealed.

The couple says they’re teaching their children independence and responsibility.