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
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.
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
My son was 2 when I aged out of foster care. Soon I was going to college full time, working 40 hours a week and paying my own child care. Things were easier when I had the group home to help. Now I had nothing. If I failed, I’m screwed. And to the shelter we would go.
Because of all the stress, I barely saw my son. Monday I would pick him up from his Dad’s … Read More
All my life, I have been ashamed of my family. My father left me and my mother when I was 6 years old. The only memories I have of him were all negative.
My mother was no better. She left my brother and me for another man, and had another child with him as well. My grandmother raised us but she passed when I was 11. As I was bounced around from group homes to foster … Read More
This is a speech Jeanette gave at the Schuyler Center as part of a panel on innovations in child welfare reform.
Today I will talk to you about what’s needed in child welfare reform from a parent’s perspective. That is voice—parents having a powerful voice in their cases and in the system.
You might be thinking, why does a parent need a voice?
I’m sure you hear us all the time screaming, fighting and arguing at the agencies. … Read More