Kathleen Creamer, JD
Kathleen Creamer is a public interest attorney who has devoted her career to working with parents and children involved with the child welfare system. She currently works as a staff attorney at Community Legal Services (CLS). In that capacity, she represented parents in all stages of dependency proceedings (i.e., when their child is in the child welfare system), including adjudication, permanency reviews, termination of parental rights trials and appeals. Her caseload included incarcerated parents. She also has prior experience with incarcerated parents as Director of Legal Services at Our Place, DC, a program that provides supportive services to women during and after incarceration.
Kathleen has successfully engaged in and led systemic advocacy efforts, and is a member of several committees at the state and local level addressing the needs of children of incarcerated parents. She was chair of the committee that developed and proposed the Healthy Birth for Incarcerated Women Act, which was signed into law in July 2010 and bans the practice of shackling incarcerated women during childbirth. As a member of the Pennsylvania Prison Society’s Working Group to Enhance Services to Incarcerated Women, Kathleen met with both Prison Commissioner Louis Giorla and Deputy Mayor for Public Safety Everett Gillison to make the case for expanded visiting hours for families. These efforts were successful, and in December 2010, the Philadelphia Prison System piloted and subsequently made permanent Saturday visiting hours at Riverside Correctional Facility.
In honor of her leaderhip in advancing the rights of women and families, Kathleen received the Unsung Heroine Award from Women's Way in May 2011.
Meet the Fellow
Kathleen Creamer talks about the struggles that families endure during incarceration and as parents attempt to reassume the role of primary caretakers. The challenges are even more daunting when the parent has a child in foster care. Children are often denied much-needed contact from their incarcerated parents and caregivers lack adequate financial and social support during parental incarceration.