Advocacy

Parent-led advocacy and parent input in child welfare reform is essential to better addressing the root causes of family crises; meeting the service needs of high-risk families; reducing disproportionate placements and disparate treatment of families of color; changing the adversarial relationship between child welfare systems and poor communities; improving court practices; and ensuring that foster care placement is used as sparingly as possible so that children are more likely to grow up safe with their families.

Standing Strong – The knowledge, skills and peer support parents need to lead

Supporting parents and working to change the system brings meaning to advocates’ lives. But it’s also painful work. Here, Rise Training Director Jeanette Vega, Senior Parent Leader Nancy Fortunato and Parent Leader Keyna Franklin explain their own journeys and the support they believe all parents need to lead change. Both Jeanette and Nancy began at NYC’s Child Welfare Organizing Project, the first parent advocacy and peer support organization in the country.

Fortunato: When I was a … Read More

Testimony of LaCrisha Rose to Congress: ‘Prevention Matters!’

Hearing on “Strengthening Prevention and Treatment of Child Abuse and Neglect”
U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Education and Labor Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Human Services March 26, 2019

Good afternoon, Madam Chair Bonamici, Ranking Member Comer, and members of the committee. Thank you for the invitation to be here today. My name is LaCrisha Rose. I currently reside in Cabin Creek WV with my husband and three children Remington, Sawyer and Meadow. I work for … Read More

Collaboration Is Our Key – How parents in Washington State are changing hearts, minds and laws

In 2007, Children’s Home Society of Washington held a statewide summit for child welfare leadership. Parents who had been involved with the system made up 10% of participants. The keynote speaker, Brenda Lopez, “stunned everyone with her story of losing her kids and then getting them back and becoming a transformational person,” says Nancy Roberts-Brown, former director of Catalyst for Kids, a statewide coalition affiliated with the Children’s Home Society.

That summit led to two parent … Read More

When Doctors Abuse Their Power – A new book on the plight of families wrongly accused of child abuse

“They Took the Children Last Night: How the Child Protection System Puts Families at Risk,” by parent attorney and policy advocate Diane Redleaf, tells the stories of families who faced allegations of abuse after they brought their children to the hospital for unexplained injuries, unusual symptoms, or after an accident.

Until 2017, Redleaf led the Family Defense Center in Chicago. Telling the stories from a lawyer’s perspective, she echoes many of the themes parents have sounded … Read More

Writing a Wrong – The courage of dedicated advocates can correct the injustices in the system

I unjustly lost 7 of my 8 children to the child welfare system because I was seen as unfit because I was a poor, African-American mother in an abusive relationship.

During my fight for my family, I discovered how child welfare professionals who don’t know you or your children can decide that you are a disease that your children need to be cured of.

Now I am determined to bring about change by writing about the harm … Read More