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.

Surveillance Isn’t Safety – How over-reporting and CPS monitoring stress families and weaken communities

Series Edited by Rachel Blustain, Rise Contributing Editor

This year, Rise will share parents’ perspectives and recommendations for strengthening families without surveillance and through community.

Too often, when families are struggling, school
personnel, doctors and police are quick to call a hotline instead of connecting
us to resources and support.

Nationwide, child abuse and neglect reports grew more than 12% from 2013 to 2017. Abuse scandals across the country and sensational media coverage of child fatalities in many communities put mandated reporters … Read More

NY State Legislature Passes New Open Adoption Bill to Protect Children’s Family Bonds

Legislators in New York State are considering passing a bill to ensure that children adopted from foster care can continue to have contact with their parents, even when rights are terminated, if it’s in the child’s best interest. Here, Rise’s Sara Werner, who lost her daughter to adoption but reunified with her son, interviews Amy Mulzer, a staff attorney for law and appeals in the Family Defense Practice at Brooklyn Defender Services:

HBO’s ‘Foster’ Documents a Brutal System but Leaves Out the Solutions That Can Strengthen Families

“Foster” is a documentary that aired on HBO on May 7th and focuses on the lives of a few children in the Los Angeles foster care system. I’ve been hurt by the system as a child and a parent. I expected the film to show only the angelic side of the system—to portray how the system protects children and saves their lives. But I found myself shocked at the rawness of the film. It showed … Read More

‘This is not a child safety crisis. It’s a poverty crisis, a racism crisis.’ – A social worker and former foster youth featured in HBO’s ‘Foster’ shares her vision of societal and system change

In the HBO documentary “Foster,” Jessica Chandler is a foster care social worker, a mother of two boys, and a former foster youth who speaks candidly about addressing the root causes of child welfare involvement—racism, historical trauma, poverty and family stress. Since age 18, Jessica has been an advocate “writing letters, sharing my story, and explaining to people that kids shouldn’t be penalized for the things we go through in poverty.” Jessica hopes the film … Read More