Handling Your Case

Investigations Can Make Children Less Safe – When poor parents feel like we have to hide our struggles, children suffer

I have a friend who recently gave birth and struggles with simple things, like having enough money for Pampers or WIC lasting the month. Because I have worked as a parent advocate, I know about resources for low-income families. I told her about a program that offers Pampers monthly for free, but she denied the help. She said they might call child protective services on her.

I said, “They won’t. They just assist with Pampers.” But … Read More

Handling Your Case

Out in Front–When my family was investigated, I was terrified but I took charge

It was August 2, 2010, 10:30 p.m. It was hot and my two children were dirty and sweaty from playing outside.

I was running their bath when the doorbell rang. My 10-year-old son ran to the door, then quickly ran back to the bathroom. “Mommy! Mommy! Child protective services is at the door.”

“That isn’t even funny to joke about,” I said. “No, Mom, really, they are,” he said. My heart pounded.

As … Read More


Fall Benefit: Together We Rise, Oct. 25 6-8pm

Rise’s fall benefit, Together We Rise, will be October 25 from 6-8pm at 320 Park Ave.

Show your support through sponsorships and event journal ads from $250 to $5,000. 

Rise raises one-quarter of its budget through individual giving.

Please join us in making our event a success!


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.


‘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


‘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


‘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


‘This Is Really Going to Make a Difference’ – Rise’s partnership with ACS to bring parent voice into staff training citywide

Interview with David Nish, Associate Commissioner of Training and Workforce Development at NYC’s Administration for Children’s Services

ACS has a training academy for new staff, Satterwhite Academy, and a new Workforce Institute in partnership with CUNY’s School of Professional Studies, that will train child welfare staff citywide. The focus of our work is to help staff really understand the complex nature of the work that they do, with a focus on building empathy and helping families … 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!