Mothers, Grandmothers Say: DCFS Stop Stealing Our Children! Launch of bilingual Know Your Rights booklet

WHAT: Webinar: Stop Stealing Our Children: Take Away Our Poverty, Not Our Children!
WHEN: Tuesday, July 20, 2021, 4PM Pacific Time, to register: https://tinyurl.com/3k92nsbv
WHO: Alexandria House, A New Way of Life Reentry Project, DCFS Give Us Back Our Children, Every Mother is a Working Mother Network, Global Women’s Strike/Women of Color GWS

Mothers, Grandmothers Say: DCFS Stop Stealing Our Children!
Launch of bilingual Know Your Rights booklet.

Mothers, grandmothers and other community campaigners will come together and speak out on July 20th 4pm as part of the online webinar Stop Stealing Our Children: Take Away Our Poverty, Not Our Children.  LA County has the largest child welfare system in the US, and removes children at the highest rate, disproportionately Black, Indigenous and Brown children. Speakers include Joyce McMillan of JMAC For Families and Melody Webb of Mothers Outreach Network, nationally-known for their critiques of the child welfare system and their work to keep families together. The webinar will also launch the online publication of Know Your Rights, What to do if your child is detained by the LA Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) in English and Spanish – a handbook begun by families who have been through LA’s child welfare system to assist others caught up in it to get their children back.

For more information and to register for the webinar: https://tinyurl.com/3k92nsbv

From 1982 to 2003, federal funding for removing children from their homes increased by 20,000%, from $25 million to $5 billion. Children are increasingly taken from families not because of abuse or neglect but because the mother is poor.  If she herself is the victim of domestic violence, in California she can be charged with ‘failure to protect’ the children and child welfare will take the children.  Also, if she hasn’t been able to complete the many court-ordered requirements within inflexible time limits put in place by the Clinton administration, child welfare will terminate her parental rights and fast track the children for adoption – only six months for children under three years old!  Hear the experiences of mothers & grandmothers who have been through LA’s child welfare system!

The event is part of the growing national and international movement of mothers, grandmothers, and community activists campaigning for resources for mothers and other primary caregivers, which is central to keeping families together, so mothers and other family caregivers who have been impoverished for decades get the money we need and are entitled to. It is as well a call to action to bring public awareness to the abuses of the child welfare system and the need to fundamentally change it.

Mothers & Grandmothers speak out

Removing children from families that love them can cause permanent psychological trauma!” Sabreen Adeeba, DCFS Give Us Back Our Children

“Families will no longer sit quietly and allow the system’s theft of tens of thousands of Black and Brown children each year.”  Stephanie Jeffcoat, A New Way of Life Reentry Project

“Stealing our children interferes with the healthy attachments necessary to strengthen the parent-child bond.”  Jamilla Lightner, Alexandria House

“Unreasonable and impossible demands are made on parents and guardians, while DCFS holds their children as hostages.”  Judy Vaughan, Alexandria House

“Taking away someone’s child without a good reason is just about the most invasive prejudice that I can imagine.”  Andi Mazingo, A New Way of Life Reentry Project

The UK-based Support Not Separation Coalition, which held a similar speak out last week, is sending a message of support.

The planning group for this webinar includes: Alexandria House, A New Way of Life Reentry Project, DCFS Give Us Back Our Children, Every Mother is a Working Mother Network, Global Women’s Strike/Women of Color GWS