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To Prevent Children Being Removed from Parental Custody on the Basis of Low Income



On March 2, 2021, Civil Rights Project Director Mary L. Bonauto submitted testimony supporting LD 396, “An Act To Require the Department of Health and Human Services To Provide Assistance with Applications for Basic Necessities To Prevent Children Being Removed from Parental Custody.”

This legislation addresses the inequity of a system that removes children from their families due to lower income levels instead of providing support. Current policy disproportionately affects Black and Brown families in Maine due to poverty rates being higher among African American, followed by Latinx, Asian American, and Indigenous residents. This bill would help families access existing programs to improve stability, stay together, and prevent needless trauma caused by separation.

Read Mary Bonauto’s full testimony here.