Handling Your Case

Devastated — We couldn’t explain our infant’s fractures and he was taken for 17 months

Before child welfare came into my family’s life, my understanding of the court system was that truth is found by careful and dutiful dissection in the court room; evidence is paramount and lies are dissolved. However, I have come to learn that in child welfare, there are flaws that tilt the scales of justice.

The family is considered guilty until proven innocent. The state’s Department of Human Service (as it’s called here in Oregon) has adequate … Read More

Legal Rights

Two Years Gone – A family came to the hospital asking for help. Once there, everything changed.

In March 2013, a poor Chinese immigrant mother in Brooklyn took her 9-month-old baby, Mathew, to the hospital because he’d had a seizure. She explained that he’d fallen trying to walk and hit his head, then had the seizure. Hospital personnel and New York’s Administration for Children’s Services (ACS) charged that either the mother, Mei Qi Bao, or the baby’s father, Xiao Hang Wang, had abused their son. They said his symptoms could not have … Read More

News

Rise Annual Report 2016

We encourage you to check out our annual report to learn more about Rise’s publications, presentations and partnerships in 2016.

In the past year, Rise has deeply focused on frontline staff training and on advocacy.

In December, Rise parent leaders presented testimony to NYC’s City Council about how preventive services have helped them overcome childhood experiences in foster care, access practical supports and build strong, safe families.

The New York Times published Rise Director Nora McCarthy’s letter to … 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

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 – … Read More

Partners

‘We’ve come to see Rise as an organization that’s very thoughtful about how to do sophisticated training with caseworkers that has a real impact.’

Interview with Elizabeth McCarthy, CEO, and Jane Golden, Chief Program Officer at Sheltering Arms in New York City

Jane: For the past two years, our foster care staff have participated in writing groups led by Rise’s Editorial Director, Rachel Blustain. The group allowed the caseworkers to talk about what it’s like to do their job and to write stories about their experiences working with parents with children in foster care.

Elizabeth: We wanted to give staff an … Read More

Partners

‘Rise Is a Good Dose of Reality’ – How our partnership with CSSP brings parents’ perspectives into policy

Interview with Steve Cohen, Lisa Primus and Martha Raimon

Martha: The Center for the Study of Social Policy (CSSP) is a nonprofit designed to influence public policy that affects children and families, and to provide technical assistance to states and jurisdictions testing new ideas and policies in child welfare, early childhood education and community development.

The Center is always looking to embed more authentic parent and youth voice in our work, and that’s a work in progress. We rely … Read More

Partners

‘An Opportunity to Hear Straight from Parents’ – How Rise stories make an NCTSN training on trauma real for caseworkers

Interview with Erika Tullberg, NYU Child Study Center and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network

I work at the NYU Child Study Center as part of a team focused on child trauma, and I’m also a co-chair of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network’s (NCTSN) child welfare committee.

Two years ago, Rise joined us as a member of a subcommittee focused on parents in the child welfare system who have had experiences of trauma. We are developing … 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 pops. I’m going to reset the timer… This bowl isn’t quite big enough… Hmm, how about this one? Okay, that … Read More

WATCH OUR VIDEO “In Our Own Words”

Rise-Moth Storytelling Workshop!

In January, Rise partnered with The Moth on a workshop where 8 parents leaders learned to tell a story aloud – without notes! On March 8, Rise parent leader and board member Bevanjae Kelley will perform at a Moth Community Showcase. Stay tuned!