NYC parents at risk of child protective involvement or facing an investigation can now access legal representation through family defense organizations in their communities. In October, NYC’s City Council also introduced a bill t would ensure that all parents being investigated by ACS have information about how to access a lawyer and the opportunity to do so, although it hasn’t yet passed. Here, Emma Ketteringham, managing director of The Bronx Defenders’ Family Defense Project, explains the importance of early legal representation and systemic reform to reduce child welfare involvement. The Bronx Defenders has been providing early legal representation to parents facing ACS investigations for 15 years.
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On April 3, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that will bring relief to parents accused of neglect. The bill makes it harder to list parents on the State Central Registry (SCR) and limits the time that parents can be listed for neglect, which can affect employment. Parents and advocates have been pushing for years to reform the way the SCR works in order to reduce its harmful impact on families and communities.
Here, Joyce McMillan, family coordinator at Sinergia and founder of PLAN (Parent Legislative Action Network), explains the new law and the advocacy that led to its passage.
In the coming weeks, Rise will publish a new series about parents’ legal rights and representation, as well as related legislation. Our goal is to familiarize parents with legal processes that you can potentially seek out, such as early representation or a lawsuit against the child welfare system. The series will also highlight legal protections that you can advocate for through legislation.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rise will continue to provide information and resources to parents … Read More
Contact Form for Parents Impacted by the Child Welfare System
If you are a parent impacted by the child welfare system and are interested in joining Rise, we invite you to complete this form. We will save your contact information and reach out to you about opportunities to get involved that are a fit for your interests and location.
Unfortunately, Rise is not able to provide assistance and support with individual child welfare cases.