Parents Losing Children for Being Too Poor?

Sadly, yes!

In her New York Times article “Live in a Poor Neighborhood? Better Be a Perfect Parent,” Emma S. Ketteringham painted a poignant and tragic picture of what it is to be in poverty and constantly at risk of losing your children as a result. It’s not that they are not imperfect parents, but that most of them are no more imperfect than the rest of us.

Our own research shows that this experience, while closely linked to a certain demographic, is not unique to the South Bronx. In Michigan, for instance, more than 90% of all child welfare cases cite “neglect” as one of the factors leading to child removal. And a greatly disproportional number of those cases are in low-income minority homes. As in the Bronx, the state has effectively made it a crime to be poor, and the punishment is the loss of your family.

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