Parenting

Breaking Down Barriers — Once I trusted my caseworker, I was able to make progress

I met my caseworker Gloria when I went to rehab after I got the case. The first time we met, she explained how she could help me get my kids back if I put forth the effort. It was hard to believe her because she worked for the same people who took the ones I loved. But she let me know that my children belonged with me, that she believed in me and that I … Read More

Rise Magazine

Plan of My Own — I didn’t think I needed services but I did them anyway

I will never forget the day I returned home from an appointment and saw a note on my door saying that my children had been removed from home. I thought, “Did they take all of my kids?”

When I opened the door none of my six children were inside.

I immediately called the worker and found out that she had taken the two youngest, my 8-year-old son and my 4-year-old daughter because they were home alone.

I was … Read More

News

TIPS for Parents with Supervised Visits

Even though we love our children and want to see them, visiting children in foster care can bring up painful feelings for many parents. Sometimes visits are scary, stiff, weird, awkward, or sad. Our kids may act angry at us, or like they don’t care. Walking into the agency can make us feel like a failure. If you were in foster care yourself as a child, visits can also bring up feelings of abandonment. During … 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 Presentations

Bringing parents’ perspective on racial equity in child welfare

On September 27, 2017, Rise Senior Parent Leader Jeanette Vega spoke on a panel on advocacy at the Center for the Study of Social Policy’s Washington DC convening of the Alliance for Racial Equity.

Drawing on Rise’s issue Facing Race in Child Welfare, Jeanette spoke about the challenges parents must overcome to successfully navigate the child welfare system and discrimination against people of color when poverty is seen as neglect. She drew comparisons between child welfare … Read More

Staff Training

Training CASA Volunteers to Understand Parents’ Experiences

Rise collaborated with CASA-NY to bring parents’ perspective into its training for CASA volunteers. Through observation of their training, Rise recommended adjustments to training content and offered quotes and stories to include in training materials and as handouts. Rise also developed a panel for CASA volunteers, presented in June, and had a parent leader speak at every CASA training.

Parent Support Resources

Rise Know Your Rights Training for Young Parents in Foster Care

In 2017, Rise educated dozens of young mothers who grew up in foster care in order to prevent children from being unnecessarily removed from home. 

Through Know Your Rights presentations at Covenant House, the NYC child welfare agency, and in mother/child foster care group homes citywide, young women learned about child welfare law, how to address risks through preventive or mental health supports, and how to protect their families by asserting their rights.

When young people … 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.