Finding Support

Being There for Baby—and Yourself: A new report focuses on supporting teen parents in foster care as parents and people.

Recently I had a chance to read the report “Expectant & Parenting Youth in Foster Care: Addressing their developmental needs to promote healthy parent and child outcomes” by Charlyn Harper Browne at the Center for the Study of Social Policy. I became a mother while I was in foster care, and I found the report… Read more


‘Helping Children Means Helping Parents.’

Two years ago, Rise’s director, Nora McCarthy, said to me, “Hey, we got invited to do a presentation at ACS (New York City’s child welfare agency) to some top professionals in child welfare. Let’s write something up.” Whoah, I was nervous. “How many people?” I asked. She said, “50 or 100.” Working on my speech,… Read more


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.

  “Many people assume that women who lose their children to foster care are not only challenged in meeting the demands of motherhood, but are also bad people: incompetent, selfish, and morally defective. Reading Rise is a tutorial in empathy, because what rises from these pages is love, often love that has endured despite appalling struggle. “In… Read more


NY Times Motherlode Features Story by Rise Writer

The New York Times’ Motherlode blog published When Finding Housing Is a Job in Itself by Rise’s Piazadora Footman: Six years ago I went into the New York City shelter system. For 11 months I searched for apartments like crazy. I had few options. I had just come out of a psychiatric hospital. I had a 4-year-old… Read more

Parent Support Resources

How Parent Attorneys Can Use Rise Stories as a Tool for Supporting Clients: ‘One of the biggest problems parents deal with is isolation’

Interview with parent attorney DAVID MEYERS of DEPENDENCY LEGAL SERVICES, CALIF: I run a nonprofit law firm that represents parents and children in child welfare cases in six Northern California counties. I first came across Rise at the American Bar Association conference for parent attorneys. In a variety of ways, Rise is the right tool… Read more

Writing Groups

Seven Foster Care Agency Staff Complete Stories in Rise’s First Writing Workshop for Profesionals

Caseworkers and supervisors at Sheltering Arms became the first foster care agency staff to complete a Rise writing workshop, developing stories that reflected on their work with parents. Stories explore how these professionals came to learn about, connect with and improve their work with parents. Their compassionate explorations of the difficult–but often rewarding–work with parents… Read more

Go to About Rise

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Rise covered in Fusion: “How the power of storytelling can change lives in child welfare cases”

Journalist Ada Calhoun covered Rise in Fusion, writing: “Nora McCarthy is a natural narrator. Even popping popcorn in a microwave down the hall from her modest office on Manhattan’s West 27th Street, the blond 40-year-old, wearing a white eyelet shirt, light pants and blue sandals, is preternaturally calm and methodical: “Huh, that was just three… Read more

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