50% of lone-parent families in BC live in poverty. 82% of these families are female led.
The struggles faced by low income mothers raising children in an expensive city like Vancouver are exceptional. Many are led by women who did not grow up in healthy families with strong role models. Without thriving mothers, sisters and aunts to look up to, they have no one to model healthy parenting choices.
These isolated moms are struggling - and many lose their kids to a foster system that will fail to provide a loving, stable home.
Mom2Mom Child Poverty Initiative Society was founded in 2012 to help our community’s low income moms build resiliency and keep their families intact by connecting them with a community of women who can offer support, advice and a listening ear.
Early in her career as a developmental paediatrician, Dr. Barbara Fitzgerald recognized that working with single-parent and low-income families was vital to the health and development of some of Vancouver’s poorest communities. Dr. Fitzgerald brought her services to schools in the inner-city so that she could more easily reach these families and their children. Dr. Fitzgerald ran her practice in the Downtown Eastside for nearly two decades, while also serving as Assistant Dean of UBC’s Faculty of Medicine.
Through Dr. Fitzgerald’s innovative outreach model, she saw that mothers in these neighbourhoods loved their children and were striving to raise them well, but that, through no fault of their own, they were facing exceptional barriers to helping their children succeed at school and in life.
Dr. Fitzgerald learned that many of the women did not have the advantage of growing up in healthy families with strong role models. Without the support of healthy mothers, sisters and friends, they had no one to support them in making healthy parenting choices. The support services that were available to these moms in need came with the ever-present threat of the removal of their children to foster care.
While giving a lecture on marginalized populations and what she was seeing in the Downtown Eastside, Dr. Fitzgerald made quite an impression on fellow pediatrician Dr. Joanne Roussy. After the lecture, Dr. Roussy approached Dr. Fitzgerald about working together to reach these moms in a meaningful and impactful way.
Together they founded Mom2Mom Child Poverty Initiative in 2012 to provide compassionate, non-threatening and practical support to low-income mothers, and their children. They recognized that when mothers thrive, their children thrive, too.
Learn more about the impact of Mom2Mom in our Annual Reports.
You can help reduce poverty-related stress right in your own backyard. By connecting struggling moms with a caring community of women who can offer support, advice and a listening ear, low income moms are building resiliency and keeping their families intact. Your support helps to improve the lives of mothers and their children - we couldn’t do this important work without you!