Before the local elections on 5 May, we have a chance to press the candidates who want our votes, to commit to providing mothers and children with support so families can stay together – if they are elected. It’s our chance to tell them that councils must stop targeting mostly working-class single mothers for “child protection” leading to taking our children away.
Despite our legal entitlement to support, any request for support, particularly if we have a disability, are women of colour, have grown up in “care” and/or face other discrimination, is often used to claim we are “unfit” mothers and remove our children.
Here and below on this page is a template letter to candidates you can use. Please add your own experiences.
You can find the contact emails of local candidates on the election leaflets which should come through your door.
Or type your postcode here to find your candidates. You don’t have to email them all, you can choose which ones you want to target: Labour, Tory, Green, Liberal Democrat, independent or other.
You can message a political party on Twitter/Facebook or on their local website. Search the name of your borough + name of political party. You want the local political party office, not the main Council website.
When you write, please send a copy to Disabled Mothers’ Rights Campaign and Support Not Separation, and let us know what replies you get: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Tracey Norton Anne Neale
Disabled Mothers’ Rights Campaign / WinVisible Support Not Separation
Letter to candidates – local Council elections on 5 May 2022
Mothers and children and your social care policy
If elected, please tell me what you will do to stop the cruelty and discrimination which many mothers and children face from social services separating children from their mothers. Loving mothers who need support because we are low-income, disabled, immigrant, survivors of domestic violence and/or racism or other discrimination, are disproportionately targeted for “child protection” investigations and are having our children taken into “care” and/or adopted.
My experience is… [add your personal experiences here]
- Do you commit to council spending under the Care Act and Children Act prioritising support for mothers who need practical support for their caring responsibilities, instead of triggering destructive “child protection” proceedings? This is also highlighted by Inclusion London after consulting disability organisations including WinVisible. Unwarranted separation causes lifelong trauma to children and mothers. Privatised and institutional “care” neglects children and is hugely expensive to councils.
- Are you committed to abolishing homecare charges for disabled people as Hammersmith & Fulham have done? Councils get government grants for social care, and Council Tax includes a social care amount, yet sick and disabled people are still charged for support at home. Charges are taking most of people’s benefit meant to meet our disability needs, causing immense suffering and driving people to drop out of services.
- Do you commit to stop threatening sick and disabled people, including women with advanced cancer, with being taken to court for care charges debt? Some have actually been taken to court.
- Will you work to ensure that everyone gets the support services they need, and that the cuts and the neglect people have suffered during the pandemic and before, are reversed?
I look forward to your reply.