Handling Your Case

Neighborhoods Under Scrutiny – The new ‘Jane Crow’ of child welfare investigations and the lasting effects on poor families

On Friday, the New York Times published a story highlighting the impact of ACS’s heightened scrutiny of parents in NYC’s poorest neighborhoods, the increased number of children now being removed from home, and the struggle families face repairing the damage when children enter foster care unnecessarily.

In the first quarter of 2017, requests for removals were up 40% over the same time last year, the Times reported. Many children are returned within days or weeks; nationwide, nearly 10% of children are removed from home for 30 days … Read More

Advocacy

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

Addiction

A new bill would allow opioid-addicted parents to get help without losing their children

I started smoking crack in 1980 after I was hit by a drunk driver and became disabled. That was a real trauma for me.

After the accident, I was ashamed of my body. The damage to my hip caused me to walk with a severe limp. I just wanted to hide. Crack helped me do that.

Because of my addiction, my two middle children were placed in the child welfare system for three years. My youngest child … Read More

Finding Support

Mothers share 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

Updates

Torn apart by adoption

I was fighting tears at the last court date before I was taken off the case.

Ms. M, my client, stood and stated that she had neglected her child. The judged asked if she understood what was happening. With a smile, Ms. M said, “Yes.” But I felt quite sure she didn’t.

I think Ms. M believed that making the admission meant she was not going to lose her parental rights. But for over two years, Ms. … Read More

From Rights to Reality: A blueprint for parent advocacy and family-centered child welfare reform

From Rights to Reality  is designed to unite parents and parent advocacy around a common set of goals. It identifies 15 rights for parents affected by the child welfare system. Most parents do not yet have these rights in child welfare proceedings. From Rights to Reality represents a commitment to working in our communities and nationwide to make these rights a reality.

Each right is illustrated by parents’ stories—stories that show how families can be strengthened … Read More