U.S. Rep. Moore: Fights to decriminalize poverty and keep families together

In honor of National Reunification Month, Congresswoman Gwen Moore (WI-04) introduced H.R. 6233, the Family Poverty is Not Child Neglect Act, to prohibit the use of federal funds to rip families apart solely based on poverty.

“The condition of impoverishment should never be used as justification for tearing children from their parent’s arms,” said Congresswoman Moore. “The vast majority of children end up in the child welfare system not because of abuse, but because of symptoms of poverty that officials categorize as neglect. Instead of separating children from their parents, we need to strengthen Medicaid, Medicare, SNAP, and other essential programs that enable families to maintain basic living standards and stay together.”

“The urgency of keeping families together is more apparent now than ever before,” said Dr. Brandon Logan, co-chair of United Family Advocates. “The bill prevents the use of federal funds to separate families based on poverty. Keeping children with their parents prevents the trauma of separation and saves state and federal governments millions of dollars in unnecessary foster care expenses.”

“Studies show, and child and family advocates agree, that foster care should be used only when less intrusive means fail,” said Diane Redleaf, co-chair of United Family Advocates. “When poverty is the cause for child protection intervention, concrete services to help families are a much better approach than family separation.”

H.R. 6233 was endorsed by United Family Advocates, a bipartisan, interdisciplinary coalition with the goal of reforming child welfare policy.

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