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.

‘When Someone Takes Care of Us, It’s Easier For Us to Take Care of Our Children’ – Recommendations from young mothers who grew up in foster care.

Since 2012, Rise has worked with or interviewed more than 40 mothers who grew up in foster care. Here, five New York City mothers share their perspectives on how child welfare can better partner with parents who grew up in care. Chitara Plasencia, 17, Jennie Alvarado, 18, and TyAsia Nicholson, 21, are members of a support group for young mothers at Lawyers For Children, which provides legal and social work advocacy for young people in … Read More

‘In Rise, there’s all these amazing parents from across the nation that have succeeded. The message is that you are not alone.’

Kimberly: All of us are parent leaders in Washington State. We’re “veteran parents”—parents who are veterans of the child welfare system. I got involved 8 years ago. CPS had taken my daughter. When I got her back, they asked me to get involved in implementing the first Parent-to-Parent program. Now I’m a social worker at the Office of Public … Read More

‘I Made a Mistake’ Not ‘I Am a Mistake’ – How parents—and the child welfare system—can stand up to shame.

Ambrosia Eberhardt, Danielle Goodwin and Heather Cantamessa are “Veteran Parents” with the Washington State Parent Advocate Network, a project of The Children’s Home Society. Here, they explain the importance of addressing shame in child welfare:

Q: Parent advocates and child welfare administrators in Washington state have begun a series of panel discussions on shame. Why shame?

Heather: All of us are parent advocates who had our own children placed in foster care. In the past year, we’ve … Read More

The Color of Hope: Race can affect whether parents get the support to overcome.

My child welfare story (Shrounda) began when I moved into a neighborhood high in drug use and poverty. I was an African-American woman in my mid-30s, married with two children. I was arrogant—I thought I could control my drug use and that my surroundings wouldn’t affect me. Instead I found myself in the depth of an ever-evolving addiction. I went from using alcohol and cocaine to using crack daily. I desired so much out of … Read More

First You Have to Gain Our Trust – Parents’ prescriptions for keeping kids of color out of foster care.

The Birth Parent National Network, coordinated by the Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds, connects parent leaders nationwide. Here, BPNN members Jeffrey Mays, parent partner at the Public Children Services Association of Ohio in Cleveland; Shrounda Selivanoff, parent advocate at Evergreen Manor Inpatient Treatment and volunteer at Catalyst for Kids in Washington State; and Piazadora Footman, editorial assistant at Rise in New York, share parents’ perspectives on how to bring fewer children of color into the … Read More