Advocacy

HBO’s ‘Foster’ Documents a Brutal System but Leaves Out the Solutions That Can Strengthen Families

“Foster” is a documentary that aired on HBO on May 7th and focuses on the lives of a few children in the Los Angeles foster care system. I’ve been hurt by the system as a child and a parent. I expected the film to show only the angelic side of the system—to portray how the system protects children and saves their lives. But I found myself shocked at the rawness of the film. It showed … Read More

Advocacy

‘This is not a child safety crisis. It’s a poverty crisis, a racism crisis.’ – A social worker and former foster youth featured in HBO’s ‘Foster’ shares her vision of societal and system change

In the HBO documentary “Foster,” Jessica Chandler is a foster care social worker, a mother of two boys, and a former foster youth who speaks candidly about addressing the root causes of child welfare involvement—racism, historical trauma, poverty and family stress. Since age 18, Jessica has been an advocate “writing letters, sharing my story, and explaining to people that kids shouldn’t be penalized for the things we go through in poverty.” Jessica hopes the film … Read More

News

Rise Is Hiring: Editor Passionate about Justice

Rise seeks a journalist who is passionate about social justice—particularly issues facing low-income women of color—to edit our parent-written publications and to support parent writers in developing personal essays and reporting on the child welfare system to effect change in the child welfare system.Our outstanding temporary editor is leaving; we are seeking to hire a new editor by Sept. 15.About RiseRise is a NYC organization that builds parent leadership to reform the child welfare system. Child welfare systems nationwide … Read More

ABOUT RISE

Parents whose children enter foster care are largely invisible to the public. Media coverage focuses on horrific tragedies; in fact, more than half of children in foster care safely return home. A more accurate, nuanced picture of who parents are is essential to improving child welfare. Since 2005, Rise has trained parents to write and share their experiences with the child welfare system in order to deepen understanding of fragile families; provide information, healing and encouragement to parents; and guide child welfare professionals in becoming more responsive to the families and communities they serve. Rise amplifies parent voice child welfare reform and changes the story of who these parents are–and can be.

Staff Training

Resources for Frontline Practice with Parents

Check back next week for complete content on this page! 

Last fall, Rise shared a draft of our Insights paper on frontline practice with child welfare agency leadership in New York City and convened a group of professionals, including a number of parent advocates, to consider how they might further the concepts and practices described in the paper.

This group mapped out the practices their agencies already have incorporated, detailing the planning, budget, staffing, supervision … Read More

Parent Presentations

Ask Yourself: ‘Am I More Focused on Compliance Than Safety?’ – Parents encourage attorneys who represent the child welfare system to focus on justice and humanity in the courtroom

This spring, Rise parent leaders presented to all 250 Administration for Children’s Services attorneys who represent the child welfare system in family court. (The division is called Family Court Legal Services, or FCLS.) Rise parent leaders routinely present to newly-hired FCLS attorneys. Here is their presentation: 

Rise trains parents to write and speak about their experiences with the child welfare system. The insights you’ll hear today are based on the personal essays Rise has developed with … Read More

Parent Presentations

‘I Felt Terrified—and Shocked’ – How to approach parents in child protective investigations

In 2018, Rise parent leaders were asked to provide input to the Administration for Children’s Services on training for child protective investigators. Our team worked with 20 life experienced parents to develop feedback, including parent advocates working at foster care and legal agencies and parents with recent foster care cases. Jeanette Vega, Nancy Fortunato and Robbyne Wiley developed the presentation. Here is their presentation: 

Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for the opportunity to present parents’ perspectives … Read More

Go to About Rise

Stories by Frontline Staff

Caseworkers play such an important role in whether parents succeed in getting their children home from foster care. To build parents’ understanding of caseworkers and workers’ understanding of parents, Rise ran two writing groups for frontline staff at the NYC agency Sheltering Arms. These stories show the challenges caseworkers face, as well as ways they’ve overcome those challenges.

READ THE SERIES:

Transparency and Trust – As a caseplanner, I know I have power over parents’ lives – and I try to share it.

Making a Connection – A moment of understanding changed my relationship with an angry father.

Partners in Planning – When parents are supported to participate in planning, we can make better decisions.

Overwhelmed – High caseloads and paperwork make it hard to invest in human connections.

Meeting Parents Where They Are – Accepting my own feelings helped me accept the parents I work with.

Safe Enough to Grow – Both parents and caseworkers need to feel supported and accepted.