About Rise

Every year almost 300,000 children enter foster care nationwide. Media coverage of foster care focuses on tragic child deaths, the need for foster and adoptive parents, and the experiences of young people who “age out” of foster care at 18 or 21. Less understood is that more than half of children in foster care return home to their parents–and that nearly every child who enters foster care wants to go home.

Accessing family support services and navigating the family court system with little support requires extraordinary determination. Rise’s mission is to train parents to write and speak about their experiences in order to support parents and parent advocates and and to guide child welfare professionals in becoming more responsive to the families and communities they serve. Our goal is to reduce unnecessary family separations and increase the likelihood that children who are placed in foster care quickly and safely return home.

Through therapeutic writing workshops for parents, a publication reaching 20,000 readers nationwide, public speaking and staff training reaching thousands of child welfare professionals in New York City, and partnerships with foster care agencies to strengthen their supports for parents, Rise changes the story of who these parents are–and who they can become.

Parent Presentations

Ask Yourself: ‘Am I More Focused on Compliance Than Safety?’ – Parents encourage attorneys who represent the child welfare system to focus on justice and humanity in the courtroom

This spring, Rise parent leaders presented to all 250 Administration for Children’s Services attorneys who represent the child welfare system in family court. (The division is called Family Court Legal Services, or FCLS.) Rise parent leaders routinely present to newly-hired FCLS attorneys. Here is their presentation: 

Rise trains parents to write and speak about their experiences with the child welfare system. The insights you’ll hear today are based on the personal essays Rise has developed with … Read More

Parent Presentations

‘I Felt Terrified—and Shocked’ – How to approach parents in child protective investigations

In 2018, Rise parent leaders were asked to provide input to the Administration for Children’s Services on training for child protective investigators. Our team worked with 20 life experienced parents to develop feedback, including parent advocates working at foster care and legal agencies and parents with recent foster care cases. Jeanette Vega, Nancy Fortunato and Robbyne Wiley developed the presentation. Here is their presentation: 

Good afternoon, everyone. Thank you for the opportunity to present parents’ perspectives … Read More

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.