Barnstable Juvenile Probation Officer’s Instinct Saves Five Week Old Baby’s Life
Barnstable Juvenile Probation Officer Julie Hall decided to make an unannounced visit to a client and discovered a five week old baby boy home alone in a sweltering apartment one hot day in July.
“I had another visit in the area and I thought I would check on the mom. I’ve had difficulty with her in the past. She also had an outstanding warrant I wanted her to clear up,”said Hall who supervises the mother as a Care & Protection (C&P) case.
A C&P petition is filed when abuse and neglect of a child is alleged. Barnstable Juvenile and Juvenile Court Probation Officers across the state are witnessing a sharp increase in C&P cases due to the opiate epidemic. In July, there were 661 C&P cases in Barnstable County.
On July 11th, Hall walked up to the door and heard the baby crying. When no one responded to the bell or her knocks on the door, she went to “every window and door” and knocked before she realized no one was home. She also felt the air conditioner to see if it was on and found that it was off. Hall said she panicked and called 911, the family’s social worker and then her boss, Assistant Chief Probation Officer Ann MacDonald.
The police arrived and gained entry into the apartment. Hall found the baby in the hot apartment dressed in two outfits and covered with two blankets and soaked in urine. Once Hall picked up the baby to change his diaper, he stopped crying. Assistant Chief MacDonald fed the baby. The baby was taken to Cape Cod Hospital and later placed in foster care.
“I was incredibly relieved when the police arrived and then emotional once I was able to pick up the baby and know he was okay. He is now being well cared for,” Hall said. Added MacDonald, “He is doing pretty okay for what he went through.”