Parent advocacy is a vital part of stopping unnecessary family separation.
This National Parent Representation Conference focused on the importance of parent advocacy in the child welfare system. This conference is designed to improve the outcome for children and families who have contacted the child welfare system through parent advocacy.
Jey Rajaraman Spoke in Session Discussing How Poverty is Not Neglect
Jey from our Family Integrity & Justice (FIJW) initiative at Public Knowledge® spoke alongside Diane Redleaf and Ruth White at the session “Making the Case that Family Poverty isn’t Neglect.” This session at the National Parent Representation Conference discussed how family regulation services often worsen a family’s poverty and how legislation reforms, prevention, and housing and cash resources will protect families from child removal and neglect charges.
The Family Integrity & Justice Quarterly is Dedicated to This Topic
Poverty is not abuse or neglect, yet the majority of calls to Child Protective Services (CPS) stem from poverty. Mandatory reporters, such as teachers and doctors, do not realize that a well-intended phone puts the family at risk of facing separation because they need help meeting basics needs.
Our second issue of the FIJ Quarterly focuses on the harm that comes from family separation because of poverty-related circumstances—which is not abuse or neglect. It is essential to change this narrative to stop the traumatic process of family separation; instead, we need to invest in family-supporting prevention measures. It features articles from researchers, advocates, and people with lived experience in the child welfare system. It paints a vivid picture of how families live in fear due to needing basic assistance.
It Starts with Supporting Parents
Additionally, Jey moderated the workshop “At the Front Door: “Early Defense” Advocacy to Support Parents.” It focused on how community outreach and education for parents, partnering with parents to assess their needs and goals, asserting parents’ rights during an investigation, and challenging child protective workers when parents disagree with services required by a worker. Parent advocacy during a child protective investigation can be a successful way to stop family separation and court prosecution.
Family Integrity & Justice Works Strives to Keep Families Together
We founded FIJW to serve as a movement to advance child and family well-being by replacing harmful child welfare approaches. Centralized around advocacy, narrative change, and replacement work as a solution to keep families together, we want to put a stop to the harmful practices perpetuating trauma and family separation.