Posts By: Sharkkarah Harrison

Mothers know best— Rise and CWOP leaders named to a new foster care task force

Rise Senior Parent Leader Jeanette Vega and Child Welfare Organizing Project Program Director Joyce McMillan have been appointed to the new Foster Care Interagency Task Force created by a City Council bill passed in November 2016 to address the needs of children in foster care.

The 21-member task force task will focus on developing recommendations for improving services for children in foster care and outcomes for those aging out of the system. It includes leadership of … Read More

Home for the Holidays: One mother’s reunification story

Five days before Christmas 2015, my two kids came home from foster care on trial discharge.

I was so ready for them to come back to me.

It was the first Christmas we’d spent together in two years, so it was special to us. I was lucky enough to have money to buy them gifts and make a nice dinner like we used to do every Christmas.

I wanted my kids to feel like we were a family … Read More

Mothers handle post-adoption grief

The grief parents suffer when they lose children to foster care and adoption is “invisible and often goes unacknowledged,” explains Toronto-based social worker Kathleen Kenny and parent advocate Sheryl Jarvis, who run a 15-week support group for women who use drugs and have experienced having one or more children removed or adopted.

Q: How would you compare the grief of a parent who loses a child to adoption to a parent whose child dies?

Jarvis: When a child … Read More

My child was allowed to choose adoption at 9

In 2013, I placed my oldest daughter in foster care because I didn’t know how to help her. She was 6 when she started to say that she hated me and her siblings and didn’t want to live with us anymore. One day, after I told her that she could have a piece of cake only after she did her homework, she said, “I hate you, Mommy,” and “I want to kill myself,” over and … Read More

Being There for Baby—and Yourself: A new report focuses on supporting teen parents in foster care as parents and people.

Recently I had a chance to read the report “Expectant & Parenting Youth in Foster Care: Addressing their developmental needs to promote healthy parent and child outcomes” by Charlyn Harper Browne at the Center for the Study of Social Policy.

I became a mother while I was in foster care, and I found the report inspiring, relatable and informative. The report says that parents in the system and their children do best if the parents … Read More