Advocacy

Uplifting Every Voice – Together we can change the perception of parents created by the child welfare system

It was a knock on my door in the middle of the night in 1999 that altered the trajectory of my life. I was residing in a family shelter with my 2,4, and 6-year old boys when it happened. I looked through the peephole and saw an African American man and woman. They were caseworkers from New York City’s Administration for Children Services (ACS).

They told me they were there to remove my children because I … Read More

Advocacy

Joining the System – Parent advocates who have been both child and parent of the system are a powerful resource to improve it.

The first time I visited my son in foster care, I walked into the same CPS office that I’d sat in as a child. I saw my son looking at me with tears running down his face the same exact way I’d looked at my mom. As I walked through the halls of the same courthouse I watched the designs on the floor just like I used to. I was livid that child welfare was … Read More

Rise Magazine

Plan of My Own — I didn’t think I needed services but I did them anyway

I will never forget the day I returned home from an appointment and saw a note on my door saying that my children had been removed from home. I thought, “Did they take all of my kids?”

When I opened the door none of my six children were inside.

I immediately called the worker and found out that she had taken the two youngest, my 8-year-old son and my 4-year-old daughter because they were home alone.

I was … Read More

Rise Magazine

Peer Support

One of the biggest challenges for parents affected by child welfare involvement is planning. When you are in crisis, your mind can’t focus on planning. That can make it even harder to keep track of the many mandates, appointments, visits and court dates that come with foster care.

Here are some suggestions from parents about how to make the service planning process more manageable.

 

Ask as many questions as it takes to understand the status of your … 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