Advocacy

Standing Strong – The knowledge, skills and peer support parents need to lead

Supporting parents and working to change the system brings meaning to advocates’ lives. But it’s also painful work. Here, Rise Training Director Jeanette Vega, Senior Parent Leader Nancy Fortunato and Parent Leader Keyna Franklin explain their own journeys and the support they believe all parents need to lead change. Both Jeanette and Nancy began at NYC’s Child Welfare Organizing Project, the first parent advocacy and peer support organization in the country.

Fortunato: When I was a … Read More

Advocacy

Collaboration Is Our Key – How parents in Washington State are changing hearts, minds and laws

In 2007, Children’s Home Society of Washington held a statewide summit for child welfare leadership. Parents who had been involved with the system made up 10% of participants. The keynote speaker, Brenda Lopez, “stunned everyone with her story of losing her kids and then getting them back and becoming a transformational person,” says Nancy Roberts-Brown, former director of Catalyst for Kids, a statewide coalition affiliated with the Children’s Home Society.

That summit led to two parent … Read More

News

Rise’s Robbyne Wiley to NYC City Council: ‘It’s so important to reduce fear’

Testimony Before the New York City Council Committee on General Welfare and Committee on Hospitals

Hello, I’m Robbyne Wiley, a Parent Leader at Rise. Rise supports parents to become advocates for change in child welfare. I am a parent who was affected by the child welfare system. From being on that side of the table, I can now support other parents, and train professionals working in the system to understand parents’ perspectives.

I’m here today to support changes … 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.