Posts By: Jeanette Vega

How I reclaimed my son after reunification

As a parent advocate, I used to advise parents in my support group about the reality of what they would face once their children returned home from foster care. I’d tell them that kids often act out, or don’t seem happy to be home. I’d tell them to try to stay calm and to think about their family’s needs and how to address them. I would tell parents, “I was you, I understand.”

DREAM COME TRUE

My … Read More

A new bill aims to preserve family bonds after TPR

A coalition of NYC lawyers and advocates has proposed a new bill, Preserving Family Bonds, which would give New York City family court judges the power to order contact between adopted children and their biological families after the termination of parental rights (TPR). Right now, biological parents and children have no legal rights to see each other after a TPR if the adoptive parent doesn’t want it, even if a judge believes it’s in the … 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

Applying a Toxic Stress Lens to Frontline Practice with Parents

Rise Parent leader Jeanette Vega spoke to child welfare leadership at the Council of Family and Child Caring Agencies’ (COFCCA) annual meeting about toxic stress and frontline practice with parents. 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 was going through when my son went into foster care.

Life Before My Case

Before my son entered foster care, I … Read More

‘Like Falling Down a Rabbit Hole’ – New film Custody explores the world of family court

This Saturday, the film Custody by director James Lapine will air on Lifetime at 8pm EST. Starring Viola Davis, Hayden Panettiere and Catalina Sandino Moreno, the film explores the professional conflicts and personal dramas of a mother, a lawyer, a caseworker and a judge as a case of suspected abuse makes its way through the family court system.

In the background is the recent death of another child known to the system. The aftershocks of that … Read More