About PRM

Parents’ Rights Maine is a statewide organization made up of parents from all demographics and backgrounds with one thing in common: we are all parents concerned with the direction the Maine Government has taken. 

You would be hard-pressed to find a parent that wanted the “public” — let alone the Government — in their home telling them what to do, what decisions to make, and how to raise their children. For centuries parental rights have been understood as an inherent right and responsibility, with Modern Societies only intervening when actual abuse was at issue. 

However, in more recent years, conversations have emerged which are redefining the idea of parental rights. And now, those emerging conversations are already giving way to legislative actions that serve to reduce, restrict, and undermine some of the most innate aspects of parental rights. From religious beliefs to political ideologies, parental rights are now becoming a tool to reduce political opposition. In short: raise the child — reduce the opposition.

Parents’ Rights Maine endeavors to restore and protect the inherent rights and responsibilities of the parent. Regardless of religion, creed, political belief or affiliation, race, or orientation.

What are Parental Rights?

History of Parental Rights:

In 1874, a religious missionary to the poor, Etta Wheeler, learned of a 9 year old girl named Mary Ellen Wilson, living with her parent’s in Hell’s Kitchen, a notorious slum in New York, who was routinely being beaten and neglected. After exhausting her efforts with local police who wouldn’t intervene, and Charity Organizations that couldn’t intervene, Etta approached Henry Bergh. Bergh was the founder of the ASPCA, the animal cruelty organization. Bergh had his lawyer assist Etta in saving little Mary Ellen, but the process was complicated. Because of this, Bergh and his Attorney together created the New York Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children (NYSPCC) in 1875. By the early 1900’s, the organization had grown to 300 nongovernmental protection societies. 

Prior to this, intervention was sporadic, and often handled locally. “Social work” as it exists today, was not a profession and most child protective services were handled by charity organizations.The first Charity Organization Society was started in 1877, in Buffalo, New York. This would grow to more than 100 COSs across the country, and although “social worker” was still not a profession, these charities created the basis for what would become social work. 

In 1898, the New York Charity Organization Society had reached a point where it employed enough full time employees that it needed to expand training into an organized manner. Thus, the first school for training social workers was created. It was named the New York School for Philanthropy, and it still exists today. Although today it is known as the School of Social Work at Columbia University. 

In the early 19th century, as State and Municipal Governments grew, Child Welfare, and Social Services were absorbed, and in 1935, hidden in Rosevelt’s “New Deal”, was a provision that authorized the children’s Bureau “to cooperate with State public-welfare agencies in establishing, extending, and strengthening, especially in predominantly rural areas, [child welfare services] for the protection and care of homeless, dependent, and neglected children, and children in danger of becoming delinquent.” 

This hidden provision was the groundwork for the federal government becoming the central authority of child welfare. 

The Weaponization of Child Welfare and Social Work:

To see the dangers of where we are going, we usually only need to look to the past. For all of its best intentions, Child Welfare and Social Work are no different. Especially once Governments are involved, things have a way of shifting. 

All throughout the last 100 years, we can see repeated examples of social work being used by dangerous Governments to advance agendas. From Hitler’s Germany, to Stalin’s Soviet Union. The United States is not exempt from this either. 

The Child Savers: The Invention of Delinquency, by Anthony Platt 

Platt lays out the issues with the establishment of the juvenile justice system that were becoming apparent even in 1965. He shows how the creation of the new courts created a class of delinquents who were judged without due process. Which is an issue we still see today. Family Courts are not held to the same regulation, and civil rights. 

The State, and the Religious Organizations blazing this trail, were able to define delinquency as they saw fit. So any children who were considered by their standards to be out of order, or young women who were deemed as immoral, were often committed to institutions or other forms of state supervision without due process and with no means of redress.

In 2008, In an Abusive State: How Neoliberalism Appropriated the Feminist Movement against Sexual Violence. Kristin Bumiller explains very eloquently how Social Work in the United States has been weaponized and used to scrutinize the parenting skills, education, housing, relationships, and psychological coping skills of women. Especially those victimized by sexual and domestic violence. Often demanding compliance from the victim as a prerequisite for assistance. She also goes on to explain how Social Work in the United States ultimately ends up revictimizing individuals.  

Today, we see this happening again, the weaponization of Social Work. Only this time, as the great pendulum swings, rather than religious extremism driving the social agenda, today we see political ideology doing so. With “safety and neglect” once again being redefined by the social workers, to scrutinize the parenting skills, relationships, and religions of their political opponents.

Scroll to Top