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.

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

Rise Parent Leaders Present Reform Recommendations at CUNY Law Symposium on Family Court

Four parent leaders from Rise presented parents’ perspectives on facing New York City Family Courts at the CUNY Law School symposium “Reimagining Family Defense” on April 8. Drawing on interviews with dozens of parents with current child welfare cases and stories published in Rise’s parent-written magazine over the past 10 years, Piazadora Footman, Robbyne Wiley, Bevanjae Kelley and Nancy Fortunato described common themes in parents’ experiences facing the court and gave recommendations for reform.

Click here to … Read More

Rise Parent Leaders Present Parents’ Perspectives to NYC Child Welfare Commissioner

Dominique Arrington, Jeanette Vega, Lakisha Johnson, Teresa Bachiller, Robbyne Wiley and Commissioner Gladys Carrión (clockwise from upper left)

Rise’s Parent Leadership Team met with ACS Commissioner Gladys Carrión June 22 to present results of conversations with 40 parents about their experiences and priorities for change.

Read their recommendations here. 

Discussion focused on parents’ need for information about the foster care process, access to parent advocates and peer support, transparency around the process of addressing concerns about children’s care … Read More