Home Community forum on free-range parenting

Community forum on free-range parenting


albemarleFree-range parenting has been a hot topic in recent months in the news and in online forums after two Maryland children were detained while walking home from a local park.

As a parent of young children, it can be difficult to gauge when and in what situations it is appropriate to leave a child unsupervised.  “Am I going to be arrested for having my children walk home from the bus?” “How far is too far from home?” “Can I leave my child in the car if it is only going to be for two minutes so I can pay for gas?” “What does ‘appropriate supervision’ look like?”

Albemarle County and the City of Charlottesville are hosting a forum on free-range parenting to foster a community discussion on how to provide children an opportunity to experience independence in a safe environment. The event will begin with a panel discussion with local professionals in childhood development, social services, and the police department and will be followed by a question and answer session with the audience. This event will provide a framework for understanding of how to gauge what works best for your child, dispel myths and misperceptions, and highlight local policies, practices, and expectations.



  • Phyllis Savides, Director of Social Services (Albemarle County)



  • Dr. Claudia Allen (UVA Family Stress Clinic)
  • Dr. Joseph Allen (Virginia Adolescent Research Group)
  • Sgt. Michael Gore (Charlottesville Police Department)
  • Jenny Jones (Charlottesville Social Services)
  • Corporal Tripp Martin (Albemarle County Police Department)
  • Lt. Steve Upman (Charlottesville Police Department)
  • Brad Wentz (Albemarle Social Services)

The forum is scheduled for Tuesday, October 27th, from 7:30 – 9:00 pm, at the Burley Middle School cafeteria.



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