Children are for loving, not for profit
Hear directly from mothers fighting to get their kids out of foster care, children, and from supporters including family members, community activists, former social workers and others.
For International Women’s Day, join women in 60 countries for the 10th Global Women’s Strike
In Philadelphia mothers and supporters protest at DHS:
Protest! Friday March 6
4pm Leaflet & petition
4:30-5pm Press Conference & Speak Out
Outside Dept of Human Services
1515 Arch St, Philadelphia Center City
(in case of very bad weather the press conference will take place at the church, details below)
Teach In and Reception 5-6:30pm
Arch St United Methodist Church
55 N. Broad Street (two blocks from DHS)
Learn what you can do. Refreshments & childcare provided. Wheelchair accessible.
- Profiteering off the lives of children, including those unjustly taken from their families and kept in foster care. Foster kids suffer post-traumatic stress disorder at twice the rate of Gulf War vets.
- Racism – Black children and other children of color are much more likely to be taken and kept in care.
- Sexism – mothers and other caregivers are treated with contempt, as though the work of raising children is worth nothing, and relationships with children mean nothing.
- Corruption – the Luzerne County case exposes how justice for children and young people is often a money deal. In Philadelphia courts, juvenile detention centers compete for children (and dollars).
- Forcing families to pay for state care or detention -- through direct payment or loss of SSI, welfare, Social Security and other benefits on which families depend for their survival.
- Poverty – welfare “reform” has forced women into low-waged jobs and homelessness. Rather than offering housing, childcare & other resources, DHS punishes families by equating poverty with neglect & removing kids, while children in real danger often are not protected.
Sponsored by: DHS – Give Us Back Our Children, a multi-racial self-help support & action group of mothers, other family members & supporters working to re-unite families by getting children out of foster care; and Global Women’s Strike whose theme is “invest in caring not killing.” www.globalwomenstrike.net
Other sponsors: * Every Mother is a Working Mother Network * Women of Color in the GWS * Payday men’s network * WinVisible - women with visible and invisible disabilities * Wages Due Lesbians
Info: Crossroads Women’s Center, 215-848-1120; on March 6 call 267-254-4467
Across the US, women and families are unjustly losing custody of children to child protective services. Dept of Human Services, Phila, and other cities remove kids, particularly from single mothers of color, younger, older, and alternative families, instead of helping families in poverty with housing, childcare, legal needs or abuse. Most children are far better off and safer at home than in foster care. Once in the system, it’s a lengthy & sometimes impossible job to get children back. At the same time, kids in real danger often don’t get the protection they desperately need – official neglect in both directions. And DHS and the agencies that it contracts with have financial incentives to keep kids in care: $900 million flowing to divide, not to reunite families. DHS – Give Us Back Our Children fights individual cases, builds public awareness and challenges the whole system.
- Fact – Out of every 1000 impoverished children in their jurisdiction, Chicago removes 6 children from their homes, NY removes 11, LA removes 14. Phila removes 40! (Nat’l Coalition for Child Protection Reform, NCCPR)
- Fact – Black children are more likely to be taken from their homes, to stay in protective custody longer and even put out for adoption against the parents’ will. (Cincinnati Post)
- Fact – A Children’s Hospital (Phila) study found that when toddlers have similar injuries, they were 3 times more likely to be reported to DHS if the family was African-American or Latino. (Children’s Hospital press release, Oct. 1. 03)
- Fact – 30% of foster children could be home right now if their parents had decent housing (NCCPR)
- Fact – Veteran of foster care have twice the rate of post-traumatic stress disorder of Gulf War veterans and only 20 percent could be said to be “doing well.”
- DHS to prioritize – in practice – the protection and reunification of families, recognizing that children are overwhelmingly safer and better-off in their own home except under extreme circumstances
- Resources for mothers including financial support, housing, childcare day or night, family-centered drug treatment, legal and other help to keep families together. Poverty does not equal neglect!
- End financial incentives for DHS and provider agencies that keep children in foster care; publicly accountable use of funds, and funding of real services that families need.
- Access to good and accountable free legal representation
- End discrimination on the basis of race, gender, poverty, age, disability, immigration status, cultural difference, sexual preference or any other – caring work by mothers of all races to be acknowledged
- End the run-around, prolonging of cases and abuse of power by workers, so-called “child advocates” and others. Give mothers the time they need to meet DHS goals
- Mothers and families to be treated with respect, not threats, harassment and arrogance, and have the right to support of family and community members in all dealings with DHS and Family Court
- Mothers must not be forced to choose between homelessness and staying with an abusive partner – either way they risk losing custody & the child is hurt. When childcare arrangements fall through or when children are sick, mothers must not be forced to choose between staying home for their children and getting fired, or leaving their children alone or with inadequate care
- Public investigation of how cases are handled
- Accountability by case workers, supervisors & administrators for the welfare of children
DHS Give Us Back Our Children email@example.com 215-848-1120
Co-ordinator of Global Women's Strike
Quoted in NY Times Op-Ed: Pay People to Cook at Home!
In the Guardian: From welfare to wages, women fight back against the uncaring market
Listen to speak in Ireland: "How can women defeat austerity?"
Other countries we work with (so far...)
Sojourner Truth Radio
Margaret Prescod on Sojourner Truth Pacifica Radio, KPFK, Tuesdays.
News on US domestic & foreign policy. Cutting-edge interviews with women, people of color & others around the world.
KPFK's Margaret Prescod named Best Radio Personality - 2012 by OC Weekly!
Sojourner Truth website
UK Fri 17th May 13
Letter to The Guardian reporting on launch of petition 'Invest in a caring society. A living wage for mothers and other carers.'UK Thu 16th May 13
Messages of support to launch of petition Invest in a caring society. A living wage for mothers and other carers.UK Thu 16th May 13
Mon 13th May 13
USA Sat 11th May 13