Press Release: Mothers and Other Family Caregivers From Across The US Tell Congress to Value Our Work


WHAT:    Congressional Briefing featuring Rep. Gwen Moore (WI-4), directly impacted family caregivers from across the country and policy experts, followed by Press Conference

WHEN:    October 24, 2023 9-10am Briefing, 10:30am Press Conference

WHERE:  Briefing: Rayburn House Office Building, Rm 2060, Washington DC. Breakfast served. Press conference: House Triangle, United States Capitol

Pre-event interviews available with participants. See also informational packet, including testimonies

A delegation of more than twenty, mainly low-income mothers and other family caregivers from states from across the country, including California, Maryland, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, and Wisconsin. The delegation is traveling to Washington DC to participate in a Congressional Briefing entitled Caregiving is Work: Supporting mothers and other family caregivers through the Worker Relief and Credit Reform Act and Beyond. After the briefing, the delegation will host a Press Conference, as well as visiting congressional offices on both sides of the aisle. They will urge elected officials and the Biden administration to support policies that recognize, value and provide resources for unwaged caregiving work.

The delegation visit is organized by Global Women’s Strike. The event’s partner is the Center for the Study of Social Policy. Sponsors: Economic Security Project Action; Mother’s Outreach Network; Parents Together Action; RESULTS

The Worker Relief and Credit Reform (WRCR) Act (HR 1468), reintroduced by Rep. Gwen Moore (D-WI), updates the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) by extending the financial support provided by the EITC to caregivers of children, disabled, and older people, and also to low-income students. Rep. Gwen Moore’s WRCR would strengthen and modernize the EITC by finally recognizing and valuing the critical work of caregivers. 

The Child Tax Credit (CTC) is also central to the delegation’s agenda. They say the ending of the expanded monthly CTC in 2021 has devastated their communities and they are calling for reinstatement of fully-refundable CTC including to immigrant families. In response to mandated work requirements, the delegation will make the case that family caregiving is in fact work and work requirements ignore that reality. 

Panelists as well as written testimony will be provided by mothers and grandmas, including those with children with disabilities or other special needs; homecare and domestic workers; mothers who have lost their children to the child welfare system due to poverty; those caring for ill partners and friends in crisis, children caring for other children or adults; carers of people with dementia. Other expert speakers include Elisa Minoff from the Center for the Study of Social Policy and Phoebe Jones who helped coordinate the international survey What Do Mothers and Other Caregivers Want?

My Worker Relief and Credit Reform Act is a significant step toward acknowledging the immeasurable contributions of caregivers, and recognizes that caregivers are the backbone of our economy and our society… For too long the work of caring for others, whether it be raising children, supporting the elderly, or taking care of loved ones, has been invisible and undervalued…The Earned Income Tax Credit has proven to be an effective tool in alleviating poverty, benefiting millions of Americans annually. However, it needs certain enhancements to better meet the needs of our economy, including the growing population of older Americans and increasing demand for caregivers.Congresswoman Gwen Moore

The Worker Relief and Credit Reform Act is important for families like mine which are easily forgotten, and the work we do for our families which is easily not considered as important as other forms of work.Philipa Nwadike-Laster, Philadelphia, mom of special needs child and homecare worker

Oxfam estimates that US women’s unwaged work in the home would be worth $1.5 trillion per year if paid at the minimum wage. But 70% of poor people in the US are women and children. For most older people in the US, care comes from family members or friends, often women, who contribute approximately $600 billion worth of unpaid labor to the economy each year according to AARP, 78% of whom face financial strain. Redressing this injustice must be a priority. Peggy O’Mara, Colorado, former editor and publisher of Mothering Magazine

As [this] care work occurs outside of the labor market and is unpaid, it is often not considered to be ’real work,’ which reflects historically racist and sexist ideas of what kind of labor matters. By requiring parents and caregivers who need help making ends meet to work outside the home, work mandates perpetuate these harmful ideas and discount the fact that caregivers are already providing valuable unpaid labor. – Elisa Minoff, Center for the Study of Social Policy

My children are raising my grandchildren at a time when two people employed full time are not available to care for their own children outside school hours. During the school year one of my granddaughters spends the week with me and her grandfather. We set up a bed and workspace in our home for her. I transport her back and forth to school, to and from gymnastics class, buy and prepare her meals, help her with homework and other responsibilities. My care as a grandmother, and theirs as parents deserve to be recognized as work.Vickie Cobbin, grandmother, Southern California

“Most people in the country experienced the power of direct cash payments – whether it was through stimulus checks, monthly Child Tax Credits, or Earned Income Tax Credits – in meeting the rising cost of living over the past several years. Child poverty fell dramatically and families got some breathing room and were able to afford basic necessities like food and rent,” said Anna Aurilio, Senior Campaigns Director at Economic Security Project Action. “We appreciate the leadership of Representative Moore and Congressional representatives like her who saw the transformative power of cash and are stepping up to take action. Today’s briefing on the WRCR Act is a firm reminder about the people who suffer because of Congressional inaction.”