Rise Magazine

Survival During Triggering Times

It is as if my past has caught up with me: Deserted streets. Food lines. Curfews. Yes, I feel like my past has finally reared its ugly head on American soil. 

I have been struggling daily since I returned from the war in Iraq 17 years ago. Secretly, I call these experiences “Living in a Triggering Town.” It’s the constant pressure of surviving. 

That’s New York City today. Not being able to travel on the buses, or trains, or by cab. Normally. Not able to leave the house unless deemed mission essential by the Governor. Transit workers, grocery store workers, hospital personnel. They keep us alive, but they cannot keep us sane. 

News

Coronavirus Impact on Parents

You are not alone.

Rise is working to uplift parents’ voices and advocate for parents’ needs. Please share your experience with Rise.

Coronavirus and social distancing are putting stress on families and communities, and affecting parents with child welfare system involvement. Rise is dedicated to building the power of parents affected by the child welfare system. As parents, the Rise team is here for you. If you are a parent with a … 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.

Parent Support Resources

A Message of Support this Holiday Season

Every day can be a struggle. We all have hard times, but it’s even harder to go though the holiday season alone, especially when you have lost someone special or you are not able to spend time with your children because they are in the system.

I know from personal experience. I lost my grandmother a few days before Christmas back in 2011. I also caught my first ACS case a few days before Christmas in 2015. My kids were placed in foster care and I didn’t get to see or talk to them until after Christmas.

Here are some tips that helped me get through a difficult time.

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.