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.

Peer Pressure – How parents are changing the child welfare system

BY KEYNA FRANKLIN and JEANETTE VEGA

For decades, parents in the child welfare system have felt powerless, demonized, silenced and alone. Things have begun to change in places where parents have united to use their shared experience to support one another and work for change.

 Today, according to the Birth Parent National Network, there are organizations of child welfare-affected parents in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota and Washington.

In … Read More

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

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

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

Jasmin’s Testimony

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