Poverty

Safe Inside — I’m helping my son feel secure despite difficult conditions

Sara and her son

Last year I reunified with my son, Aaron, who spent his first two years in foster care. Aaron is now 4 years old with curly brown hair, brown eyes and a smile that makes everyone want to smile, too. Aaron foster family had lots of money for clothes, toys, everything. When we reunified, I thought Aaron would be unhappy not having a large TV with cable and tons of fancy … Read More

Trapped — I know what my son and I need but I can’t afford it

My son was two when I aged out of foster care. Soon I was going to college full time, working 40 hours a week and paying my own child care. Things were easier when I had the group home to help. Once I left care, I had nothing. If I failed, I’d be screwed—and to the shelter we’d go.

I wanted to prove that, just because I grew up in care, there wasn’t anything wrong with … Read More

What is Neglect?

The Federal Child Abuse Prevention and Treatment Act (CAPTA) defines child neglect and abuse as: “Any recent act or failure to act on the part of a parent or caretaker which results in death, serious physical or emotional harm, sexual abuse or exploitation, or an act or failure to act which presents an imminent risk of serious harm.”

FAILURE TO PROVIDE:

•Physical—Not providing basic needs, including appropriate nutrition, shelter, hygiene, and clothing.

•Medical and dental—Delaying or denying recommended … Read More

The Do’s and Don’ts of Parenting While Poor

Parents struggling to provide for their children are often surprised to learn that gaps in basic care such as inadequate food, clothing, and safe, stable housing can result in allegations of neglect and child removal.

Here, social worker Rick Barinbaum of The Center for Family Representation, and attorneys Eric Cloud, Mimi Laver and Carlyn Hicks (see p.3), explain what parents should be mindful of when hard times hit, and reforms that would prevent families from being … Read More

‘Poor’ Parenting— When poverty is confused with neglect

For poor parents, life often feels like an avalanche of misfortunes that invites judgment, mistrust and even charges of neglect.

Here Daniel Hatcher, author of “The Poverty industry: The exploitation of America’s most Vulnerable Citizens”; Carlyn Hicks, director at mission First Legal aid office in Mississippi; Chris Gottlieb, co-director of New York University’s Family Defense Clinic; Mimi Laver, director of legal education for the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law ; and attorney … Read More