Commentary on Baby Doe: A political history of tragedy by Jill Lepore

The article Baby Doe: A political history of tragedy by Jill Lepore provides a fact based overview of the problematic history of Department of Children and Families (Names of Child Protective Services vary among states) in the northeast part of the United States.  She cites several cases, with graphic details, to support her stance.  Her creative writing approach holds the reader’s attention during this short-short story length article.  The back and forth style she employs intertwines a focus on individual stories while switching from the present to the past as she weaves in colorful historical points.  

Lepore makes valid statements including how the current status may be different for both abused children and their families if Protective Services had taken the path of, “anti-poverty instead of anti-abuse” (Lepore).  She includes basic information about the program, Minding the Baby which seeks to provide services and education to first time mothers between the ages of fourteen and twenty-five.

My stance on child abuse of any kind remains the same; it crosses boundaries of race, gender, culture and financial status.  However, I believe Lepore’s article to be important due to her provision of a potential solution to this particular aspect of poverty and abuse.  Even though a mother may have the heart to be a great parent and she may know the kind of parent she does not want to be–she may not have a model for how to be an effective and nurturing parent. The ideal of this program provides that model and that support system.

Author Jill Lepore is a contributing staff writer for The New Yorker, a Yale graduate, a Harvard Professor and author of several books.   I provide a link to Lepore’s article, to Minding the Baby, and to a Bigraphy on Jill Lepore.   JDP

Baby Doe: A political history of tragedy by Jill Lepore

Minding the Baby® Home Visiting for First-Time Mothers

Biography/Jill Lepore

Lepore, Jill, Ph.d. “Why Can’t We Stop Child Abuse?” The New Yorker. The New Yorker, 01 Feb. 2016. Web. 27 Feb. 2016.



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