Why ĒMA?

Behind every child at-risk, is a mother in crisis.

Unmet basic needs is the most common type of neglect in the United States, making poverty the leading cause for removals at 76%(i)

Nearly 250,000 children are separated from their mothers every year for reasons of poverty, inadequate housing, illness, and material need. (i) Disproportionately targets poor and minority mothers. Without support in place, low-income mothers are one crisis away from losing their children and children are one crisis away from losing their mothers.

Root Causes to the Family Separation Crisis

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20,075,000 children in 2017 lived below the federal poverty line with parents who lacked secure employment, representing 27% of all children in the United States. (ii) 37,227,000 people in the United States are food insecure, 11,174,000 being children. (iii) On average, there are 3.3 unemployed single mothers in the United States. Financial insecurity drastically effects a mother’s ability to provide for the daily needs of her children in which she is all too commonly punished for this injustice. Disproportionately targets poor and minority mothers across the United States.

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Mental Health

The evidence is strong for a causal relationship between poverty and mental health. (iv) Findings suggest that poverty leads to mental health and developmental problems that in turn prevent individuals and families from leaving poverty, creating a vicious, intergenerational cycle of pov- erty and poor health (v). Poverty in adulthood is linked to depressive disorders, anxiety disor- ders, psychological distress, and suicide. (vi) Mothers living below the poverty line are at higher risk of violence and maltreatment within their communities. These women and children face bar- riers to accessing quality mental health care for themselves and their children. Low-income mothers are likely to experience higher levels of depression, anxiety, and other family threaten- ing mental illnesses.

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Father Absence

An estimated 24.7 million children (33%) live absent of their biological father. (vii) According to 72.2% of the U.S. population, fatherlessness is the most significant family and social problem facing America (viii). Among child welfare, children are disproportionately removed from the care of low-income, single mothers across the United States.

advocacy changes everything


“My advocate helped me with everything, if I didn’t understand something she wouldn’t go on until I understood. I didn’t have anything for my baby, I was at-risk of loosing him because I didn’t have anything and she helped me. I’ve never had anyone that actually cared about me getting my kids back, it made me want to be better. If it wasn’t for ĒMA I wouldn’t have my son.”


“When I first came to ĒMA, I felt welcomed and not judged. I could talk to the advocates about anything and felt no embarrassment or shame. It was like a family. When I met my CARE team, my children were amazed by how kind and supportive they were. I finally have the support I’ve been needing for a long time.”


“I came from a place of not having any support, it meant the world to me to have people step in and show me love and be there for me no matter where I came from. I was at a place in my life that I didn’t know my way out. When I started with ĒMA, I found the courage I needed to piece my life together and get my kids back.”

How do we revolutionize the system?

We work with Child Welfare Agencies, Pregnancy Resource Centers, and Churches in densely populated urban communities with high volumes of poverty and maltreatment. We address root causes of the crisis with sustainable solutions through social support, education, court advocacy, and mental health resources empowering every mother to achieve independent stability.

  1. Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (ADCARS) FY 2018 data.
  2. Annie E. Casey Foundation, Kids Count Data Book. (2019). State Trends in Child Well-Being: Appendix B, Economic Well-Being Indicators, 2019. Retrieved January 21, 2020 from https://www.aecf.org/resources/2019- kids-count-data-book/?gclid=EAIaIQobChMI2aLdwNCV5wIVgZ6zCh1eWQl9EAAYASAAEgJ2EfD_BwE
  3. Feeding America. (2017). Map the Meal Gap 2017. Retrieved January 29, 2020 from https://www.feedingamerica.org/hunger-in-america/the-united-states
  4. Leventhal T, Brooks-Gunn J. Moving to opportunity: an experimental study of neighborhood effects on mental health. Am J Public Health. 2003;93:1576-1582.
  5. McLoyd VC. Socioeconomic disadvantage and child development. Am Psychol. 1998;53:185-204.
  6. Psychiatric Times, Psychiatric Times Vol 35, Issue 6, Volume 35, Issue 6
  7. S. Census Bureau, Current Population Survey, “Living Arrangements of Children under 18 Years/1 and Marital Status of Parents by Age, Sex, Race, and Hispanic Origin/2 and Selected Characteristics  of the Child for all Children 2010.” Table C3. Internet Release Date November, 2010.
  8. National Center for Fathering, Fathering in America Poll, January, 1999.