Rise Senior Parent Leader Nancy Fortunato spoke at a rally Feb 22 against proposed state cuts to NYC family support services to prevent children from entering foster care:
We are here standing together with one voice to tell the governor that cutting the budget will threaten so many families who really needs services.
I myself received preventive because I was in a domestic violence relationship. Preventive helped my family in getting the right support. They gave me the tools I needed to empower myself and to be surrounded by positive people to become a thriving family.
I’ve also worked as an advocate in meetings where the decision is made whether to remove a child from the home. For many families, the best choice is preventive, not removal. There will be a lot of removals if we cut preventive. The number of children in foster care will rise.
We need to keep funding these programs. It would be a huge disservice for families that are now receiving preventive service to cut those funds that can make a big difference.
It’s up to all of us to stretch out our hands and lift families up. So parents they can find the power within themselves to fight, to keep their family together and to change their lives.