A Silver Spring couple is in the news again for letting their children walk home alone from the park — a decision they attribute to their “free-range parenting” philosophy. But parents living on the brink of poverty often make similar decisions for very different, economic reasons. We explore how societal norms and laws on child neglect affect the choices facing poor parents who can’t afford child care.


  • Judith Sandalow Executive Director, Children's Law Center

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