Black Moms Involved In Child Welfare System To Receive Basic Income Through Nonprofit Program

Black Moms Involved In Child Welfare System To Receive Basic Income Through Nonprofit Program

A new nonprofit initiative will grant “no strings attached” monetary assistance to mothers with children who are part of the child welfare system, becoming a locally-funded basic income program.

Families will receive an additional $500 a month through MotherUp, the financial assistance subsidiary of Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit, Mother’s Outreach Network. According to the Dcist, this program differentiates itself from traditional financial support programs, such as SNAP and TANF, because it requires no work requirements. The program’s first rollout goal is to include 50 mothers who will receive the $500 cash installments for a three-year period.

Melody Webb, co-founder of Mother’s Outreach Network, shared the vision for the community-financed basic income program.

“It’s intended to give families the support that they need to stay together to prevent their involvement in the system, but also to address the real needs that they have.”

Since the initiative is primarily sustained by a locally-sourced pool, its facilitators aim to show the promise of universal basic income to eventually lead to a governmental installation.

Mother’s Outreach Network has maintained a list of already established, as well as planned, basic income programs nationwide after recognizing that poverty, not bad parenting, was a dominant factor in removing children from their homes and families.

Children with cases in the D.C. child welfare system are typically non-white with the majority there being Black; families who typically qualify as poor or working class, suffer from the threat of separation most. This data led to Webb focusing her monetary cushion efforts toward assisting Black mothers involved in the system.

Webb expressed her hopes to dismantle the false notion that poverty is anyone’s fault, or that financial troubles should separate families, through the eventual success of the program.

“Once we remove a notion of it—poverty being sort of result of a personal flaw—then we are kind of liberated to think about really important structural solutions.” shared the nonprofit leader,” Webb said.

As of June 2022, five mothers are currently receiving the payments as part of the program’s soft launch. More mothers will be added to its first cohort in the upcoming months.

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