Parent Presentations

Parent and youth voice are essential to meaningful conversations about how to improve the child welfare system. Through our public speaking training program, Rise&Shine, Rise prepares parents to influence child welfare policy and practice. Rise’s parent leaders present their perspectives and personal histories at convenings and trainings, speak on panels, and share their stories with other parents. In the last two years, Rise parents have presented to more than 1,500 professionals in New York City.

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

Rise Parent Leader Contributes to New York State Permanency Summit

ACS’s Deputy Commissioner of Family Permanency Services Julie Farber invited Rise Senior Parent Leader Jeanette Vega to participate in the 2017 New York State Permanency Summit on December 5 and 6 in Albany.  The Summit, sponsored by the NYS Office of Children and Family Services, Casey Family Programs and the Redlich Horwitz Foundation, celebrated the work being done in counties across New York to achieve permanency for children and offered an opportunity for leaders around … Read More

Rise Presents to Child Welfare Leaders: How are you informing, orienting and encouraging parents?

Rise Parent leader Jeanette Vega delivered an inspiring speech to directors of child welfare agencies at the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies’ (COFCCA) annual meeting. Jeanette focused on toxic stress and the role it plays in a parent’s—and child’s— life once involved in the system. Here’s the full transcript: 

In the fall when I read Steve Cohen’s paper I was shocked and amazed to think that there was a name— toxic stress— for what I … Read More

Rise Parent Leaders Deliver Keynote Address to ABA Parent Attorney Conference

Rise parent leaders Nancy Fortunato and Jeanette Vega presented to 400 attorneys at the American Bar Association conference for parent attorneys on April 25. Here is the text of their speech: 

Thank you for the opportunity to present about parents’ perspectives on family court.

The main thing we want you to hear today is that parents come into court feeling powerless. When our children are removed, we feel the ultimate in powerlessness.

To get our children back, we … Read More

Strengthening the System through Parent Voice – The more child welfare can support parents using their voices during their case, the better equipped they’ll be to solve problems down the road

This is a speech Jeanette gave at the Schuyler Center as part of a panel on innovations in child welfare reform.

Today I will talk to you about what’s needed in child welfare reform from a parent’s perspective. That is voice—parents having a powerful voice in their cases and in the system.

You might be thinking, why does a parent need a voice?

I’m sure you hear us all the time screaming, fighting and arguing at the agencies. … Read More