Family Poverty is Not Neglect
United Family Advocates Applauds H.R. 6233, "Family Poverty is Not Child Neglect Act"
Imprint Podcast, June 26, 2022
Longtime child welfare legal expert (and poet!) Diane Redleaf joins to discuss her career, recent legislation to change neglect statutes in state law, and how they tie into her recent work on children’s rights.
By Tom Morton and Jess McDonald, The Imprint, February 15, 2021,
"Society has not made the changes needed in fundamental cultural assumptions that are necessary if we are to ensure all children can live safely with their families. That should be everyone’s vision and commitment. We believe every effort should be made to change the child welfare system so that the future of the system is built on a foundation of strong and caring families and communities. "
By Diane Redleaf, The Imprint, December 21, 2020
"We seem to have a pathological need to pathologize families, instead of helping them with their obvious needs. We have to get over this serious disorder, starting with a better diagnosis of our own problem. ... Instead of built-in hurdles to helping families, we need a system built around an infusion of flexible dollars to be used for families' concrete needs. Such dollars should be provided by community-based agencies, and not a child protection social worker sitting in judgment of a parent’s skills."
By Jerry Milner and David Kelly, The Imprint, January 17, 2020
"The role that poverty plays in child welfare decision-making is a topic that has yet to be meaningfully confronted and addressed. Poverty is a risk factor for neglect, but poverty does not equate to neglect. The presence of poverty alone does not mean a child is unsafe, unloved, or that a parent lacks the capacity to care for his or her child. Poverty can make it more challenging for parents to meet certain of their children’s needs. We must be resoundingly clear that a child should never be removed from his or her family due to poverty alone."
July 11, 2018
"Families aren't just being separated at the border. Every day, parents in communities across the U.S. have their children taken from them as punishment simply for being poor, under the guise of protecting children from neglect...Rebecca speaks with Congresswoman Gwen Moore about her own experience being punished for her poverty--and about her new bill."
By Brian Samuels, Children's Bureau Express, August/September 2020
"While poverty does not cause neglect, it challenges a family's ability to care for children by restricting access to housing, health care, food, and child care. Families of color are overrepresented among poor families due to systemic conditions that have persisted for generations. Instead of investing resources in fortifying communities and reducing familial stress to prevent child maltreatment, we have built a foster care infrastructure that spends billions on removals and placements. Even our most robust policy to support families and reduce entry into foster care still requires heightened surveillance by the very system empowered to remove children from their families."