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Poverty is Not Neglect: Spring Issue of the FIJ Quarterly Emphasizes How Mandatory Reporting is Ruining the Child Welfare System

United States, April 26, 2022 – The Family Integrity & Justice Quarterly published its second issue, entitled “Poverty Is Not Abuse…Poverty Is Not Neglect.” This free digital publication produced by Family Integrity & Justice Works, a team at Public Knowledge®, is as a forum for bold, actionable movement to replace harmful child welfare structures and practices with just, equitable, and humane approaches that keep families intact.

The child welfare system’s mandatory reporting system is oversaturating caseworkers with claims tied directly to poverty—and poverty is not neglect. Separating children from their parents is not the answer; it is an act that perpetuates fear, shame, and trauma for those who need assistance to meet their basic needs.

“This issue of the Family Integrity & Justice Quarterly is unparalleled. Every article is a thoughtful and thorough contribution to sharing the stories of those enduring a system that sees separating parents and children as the only option; when that is the furthest thing from the truth.”

Stacey Obrecht, President of Public Knowledge®

By elevating the voices of those with lived experience, and voices from the field, including advocates, researchers, and lawyers, we showcase the bleak reality of children and families living in constant fear of separation stemming from financial hardship. Authors such as Mathangi Swaminathan, Diane Redleaf, Kelley Fong, and contributors with first-hand experience, share their thoughtful insights regarding the harm that comes with mandatory reporting.

“This issue takes on the harm of confusing poverty and neglect and the use of poverty as a proxy for race and a tool for ‘othering’.” Many of the authors have long called for change, it’s time to act on their words. We’re grateful for their advocacy and contributions.”

David Kelly, Director of Family Integrity & Justice Works

The FIJ Quarterly includes art and poems from advocates and those with lived expertise. The creative expressions provide insight into lives harmed by practices never meant to help families in the first place.

“Our goal is to show that investing in families and communities through upstream support that truly meets community needs, not one-size-fits all services, are the best ways to keep children safe and families together. This starts by changing the narrative that says poverty is neglect and that poor parents are perpetrators of abuse.”

Jerry Milner, Director of Family Integrity & Justice Works

To aid in our advocacy efforts, we ask that you share this journal freely with your colleagues, friends, and loved ones. Spreading awareness is the first step to actionable change. Additionally, for those who are interested in purchasing advertisement or sponsorship space in the journal, please go to

About Public Knowledge

Public Knowledge® is a national management consulting firm focused on Programs, People, and Systems. We exist to empower our clients to solve tough problems and thrive in complex situations. For more than 30 years, we have helped our clients achieve their goals by understanding their needs and their objectives as a foundation to our problem-solving process. Our goal is to provide our clients with unparalleled service and act as their catalyst for positive outcomes. Learn more by visiting

About Family Integrity & Justice Works

Family Integrity & Justice Works of Public Knowledge® focuses on the replacement of the child welfare system. Coming together to promote justice, we see a bright future where families have the support they need without bias, judgment, or fear of separation. We’re proposing a radical change in a way that’s never been done before. Learn more by visiting

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