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.

Compassion in the Court! – Model courts find that supporting parents can strengthen the whole family.

Child welfare cases are heard in courts because parents and children have legal rights, and the role of lawyers and judges is to protect those rights. But in a typical court case, when one side wins, the other side loses. In child welfare, that’s not the case. When parents lose, children lose. Children and parents both do best when children can safely return home.

With that in mind, the Model Courts project of the National Council … Read More

‘I Used to Be in Your Shoes’ – As a parent advocate, I help lawyers and parents connect.

Illustration by Karolina Zaniesienko

I am a parent advocate at the Center for Family Representation (CFR) in New York City. CFR provides parents in child welfare proceedings a lawyer, social worker, family advocate, and parent advocate to support them.

Parents whose children were removed and put in foster care often feel like they can’t trust anyone. Many parents are victims of childhood abuse or domestic violence; some use drugs to deal with their pain. They’re used … Read More

Raising My Voice for Parents Inside – Advocating to change a law’s impact on prisoners.

art by Rosa Perin

Story as told to Lynne Miller

When I was locked up, I left my son with family, but he was removed from their home because of neglect. It was two months before I found out where my son was. It was four months until I heard his voice again. In prison, most of the time there’s no one to help you with a child welfare case. If you don’t know your rights, you’re … Read More

How does child welfare funding work? – Understanding the Family Stability and Kinship Care Act

If you’re a parent reading Rise, chances are you’ve been affected by the child welfare system. But do you know how child welfare gets funded, or how that funding affects you as a parent?

Right now a new bill before Congress could dramatically change the way child welfare is funded, and make a lot more money available for preventive services. As parents affected by the child-welfare system, it’s important to understand how … Read More

Hearing from Families – Parents testify in Congress about preventive supports

On Aug. 4, the executive director of the Child Welfare Organizing Project, Sandra Killett, a parent activist in New York City and mother whose son was placed in foster care, and Rosalina Burton, an intern with FosterClub and a former foster youth from California, testified before the Senate Finance Committee about a bill, The Family Stability and Kinship Care Act, that would increase federal funding for preventive services. (Click here to watch their … Read More