• This Bright Spot has been reviewed and approved by our community of impacted parents.

Parent review feedback summary

  • Parent reviewers lauded Magnolia Mother’s Trust as having high potential to support families, reduce financial stress, and keep families out of child welfare.
  • Parent reviewers raised questions around money management support for families, about maintaining stability after the 12 months is up, and offering additional support like childcare to make an even greater positive impact for families.
  • Parent reviewers suggested expanding this service to heads of households (not just mothers).

What is the intervention?

The Magnolia Mother’s Trust provides low-income, Black mothers in Jackson, Mississippi $1,000 cash on a monthly basis, no strings attached, for 12 months. 

Single Black mothers are often seen as statistics rather than individuals worthy of significant investments. To transform this narrative and humanize the lives of Black mothers, Springboard to Opportunities has made a commitment to make room for the voices of these mothers and the success of their personal goals. A common hope and theme of the research with families showed a need for more income. A minimum-wage job simply does not provide enough income to support a family, and the system for obtaining supplementary benefits is stressful, dehumanizing, and time-consuming. This led to the development of the Mother’s Magnolia Trust.

Happy diverse mothers giving high five to their little son when sitting at kitchen table with cup of milk

What makes it a Bright Spot?

While there have been several initiatives for a guaranteed income worldwide, this is the first that specifically targets extremely low-income families headed by a Black female living in affordable housing in the United States. 

The group of 100 mothers that started in March 2020 and lasted through the early months of COVID increased their ability to pay bills on time and had enough money for food. They also saved more for college, retirement, and emergency situations. These statistics demonstrate a dynamic trajectory considering how the pandemic disproportionately negatively affected low-income women of color.

Conditions of poverty are related to higher instances and reports of child abuse and neglect. A recent meta-analysis found that reductions in income and similar economic shocks increase the numbers of children subject to neglect and abuse, while increased income reduce those figures. Investing in mothers can help lift families out of poverty and out of the child welfare system. 

What steps can you take?

  • Raise your awareness in general about increasing evidence linking concrete support to families to the reduction of reports and substantiations of child abuse and neglect. 
  • Share MMT with a colleague, supervisor, or team to spark ideas about ways families in your area could leverage additional cash support. 


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