A statement published by the Support Not Separation group asks the government to satisfy seven demands aimed at protecting vulnerable families during the outbreak.
The statement has been issued jointly with details of an online protest taking place later today.
The group, which campaigns to end discrimination against children and parents living in poverty, has called on the government to implement the following measures:
- A Care Income for single mothers and other primary carers;
- Appropriate emergency housing for women and children escaping domestic violence (we are adding France’s initiative to use hotels as a potential solution);
- A freeze on rent, mortgage and utility bill payments until further notice;
- Universal Credit should be paid immediately from day one;
- Schools must provide free breakfast and lunch every day (the government has launched a vouchers scheme – some suggestions have been offered on social media to extend this scheme);
- Resources must be provided for children in state “care” to have regular on line contact with their birth mothers, siblings and other family members and;
- Children’s contact with fathers who have been reported for violence should be stopped.
The online protest, or Twitter Storm which is scheduled for 12.30pm-1.30pm, replaces the group’s monthly protests outside the Family Court in Holborn, London.
The group’s press release says, “We’ll use the hashtag #SupportNotSeparation in our tweets to the Minister for Children & Families, Vicky Ford MP @vickyford.”
The coalition has offered a series of tweets it will be sharing on the social media platform with the Minister, including:
- “Mothers must be able to afford to care for their children & keep them safe during #COVID19. Poverty is not neglect. No child should be taken into “care” because parents can’t afford food, clothing or housing. #CareIncomeNow”
- “Family courts: stop taking children from their mothers; stop forced adoptions.”
- “Family courts: stop forcing children to have contact with violent fathers. CAFCASS: stop siding with violent fathers.”
- “Mothers are the first protectors. Support mothers to support children. #CareIncomeNow”
- “Children need their mums! Mothers need money and resources not child abduction! #CareIncomeNow”
The coalition has invited people to add their own tweets as well.
Support Not Separation’s statement can accessed here, and we recommend reading it in full, as it contains a lot of important information.
You can also follow and interact with the coalition on Twitter @NotSeparation.