Give Us Back Our Children

“Take Away our Poverty not Our Children” *

Give Us Back Our Children is a US-based national multiracial network of organizations, mothers, grandmothers and supporters demanding an end to forced and unjust separation of children from their mothers and other primary caregivers by the child welfare system. It includes Alexandria House, A New Way of Life Reentry Project, DCFS/DHS Give Us Back Our Children, Every Mother is a Working Mother Network, Global Women’s Strike, Mothers Outreach Network, National Welfare Rights Union, SWEPT: Social Workers Ending Poverty Together, Women of Color in the Global Women’s Strike.  Give Us Back Our Children is part of the international Support Not Separation network and is coordinated by the Global Women’s Strike & Women of Color/GWS.

Give Us Back Our Children demands:

  • Provide resources and in home services first, don’t take children because we’re poor
  • Stop fast track adoption
  • Stop charging mothers with failure to protect when they’re victims of Domestic Violence
  • Hospitals stop drug testing low-income mothers & newborns
  • Release pregnant mothers from jail
  • Provide rapid housing resources for mothers in all stages of child welfare cases, including after removal and when there are other, non-housing barriers to reunification. Lack of housing must not be used as a reason to separate children from their mother or other primary caregiver.
  • Housing should not be provided solely at the discretion of DCFS social workers or local or state housing authorities — mothers and community organizations should be enabled to obtain and provide housing.
  • Include mandatory provision of HUD FUP Housing Choice Vouchers to parents who meet the requirements for participation in the program. Mothers who are domestic violence victims or are previously incarcerated are in particular need of support.
  • Stop utility shut-offs and evictions, which lead to children being taken
  • Make sure mothers have medical services needed, rather than taking their children
  • Remove women’s names from child protection registries
  • Expand family reunification clinics
  • End mandatory reporting
We urge implementation of the Recommendations of the Philadelphia City Council Special Committee on Child Separation including that Neglect should be removed from the state law defining child abuse and should no longer be subject to CPS investigations and that Any family condition that can be remedied through the provision of concrete help, including but not limited to, direct cash assistance, food, clothing, housing assistance and/or childcare, shall not constitute neglect.  And implementation of new California state laws that prohibit a child from being taken by child welfare because of ‘conditions of financial difficulty’ and that for mandatory reporting neglect does not include a parent’s economic disadvantage.

Poverty Is Not Neglect!

To reach Give Us Back Our Children:,

* Popularized by Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis, Co-chair of the Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival