Staff Training

Rise believes that effective training of child welfare professionals must include the voices of parents. We work with partners to integrate our stories into training so that frontline caseworkers and supervisors, parent and child attorneys, and foster parents can more deeply understand parents’ perspectives. Rise staff also lead staff training on parents’ perspectives. Our newest initiative is a writing group for frontline foster care staff to share their experiences working with parents in order to improve frontline practice.

Partners in Planning – When parents are supported to participate in planning, we can make better decisions

This story is part of Rise’s series by frontline staff at foster care agencies about their experiences working with parents. 

Recently, I facilitated a Family Team Meeting with a mother who was going through tremendous stress. (To protect her privacy, I’ll just call her “Mom.”) Her partner had recently died and she’d been diagnosed with a serious illness. She also suffered from anxiety and depression.

Up until the series of crises in her life, she’d worked, had an … Read More

Meeting Parents Where They Are – Accepting my own feelings helped me accept the parents I work with

Five years ago, I was “green” in the field of child welfare. I was three weeks out of college with a BA in psychology. I was motivated to do the job of case planner because I’d always wanted to work with children. I knew there would be some interaction with parents but I didn’t think it would be too much.

The first time I met parents was probably my second day on the job. I’d heard … Read More

Overwhelmed – High caseloads and paperwork make it harder to invest in human connections

This story is part of Rise’s series by frontline staff at foster care agencies about their experiences working with parents. 

I took the job of case planner because I wanted to help families, particularly parents.

I believe I have the ability to empathize with people without judging them. I grew up poor in Harlem in the 1980s. My mother received public assistance, and drug trafficking was all around in my neighborhood, so I understand that people can struggle … Read More

Safe Enough to Grow – Both parents and workers need to feel supported and accepted

This story is part of Rise’s series by frontline staff at foster care agencies about their experiences working with parents. 

I have worn many hats and held many positions at Sheltering Arms, the agency where I started in the field of child welfare. I’ve gone from intern to case planner to senior case planner to supervisor to coordinator of services for families that have reunified. What I have seen is that parents need to feel supported and … Read More

Rise Trains Frontline Staff in “Nurturing Safety with Parents Affected by Trauma” at COFCCA

Caseworkers and supervisors at foster care and preventive agencies attended a day-long training on parent trauma July 30 at COFCCA. Led by Rise Director Nora McCarthy, the training focused on how trauma affects parents with children in foster care — and how secondary traumatic stress affects child welfare staff. Attended by 25 child welfare professionals, discussion focused on noticing parent trauma, “holding” painful feelings, and responding with trauma in mind at critical moments in visits and … Read More