Finding Support

All parents need places where they feel safe and supported. Many parents want help but fear opening up about their struggles and don’t know where to safely find support. If children are in foster care, parents may not know what services to ask for to help them heal. Parents write about the supports that have helped them feel safe, bond with their children, grow as people and parents, reunify with their children—and keep their children out of foster care.

Step-by-Step Financial Independence

Economic Mobility Pathways (EMPath) in Boston pairs low-income parents with professionals to support them in gaining the resources and skills needed to attain financial self-sufficiency. Nicki Ruiz de Luzuriaga, Associate Vice President of Capacity Building for EMPath, explains how families can move up financially.

Q: How can mentoring help parents improve their economic stability?

A: Participants are paired with “Mobility Mentors”. Some participants are homeless and not working. Others work full-time but are still struggling. … Read More

Promise of Partnership — New confidential resource centers for NYC families

This spring, NYC’s Administration for Children’s Services will open Family Enrichment Centers (FECs) in three neighborhoods with high child welfare involvement—Highbridge and Hunt’s Point in the Bronx and East New York, Brooklyn—run by Good Shepherd Services, Graham Windham, and the Bridgebuilders Community Partnership. Each site will have a director, two parent advocates, and a community liaison.

Jacqueline Martin, Deputy Commissioner for the Division of Preventive Services, and Kailey Burger, Assistant Commissioner for Community Based Strategies in the … Read More

Mothers share post-adoption grief

The grief parents suffer when they lose children to foster care and adoption is “invisible and often goes unacknowledged,” explains Toronto-based social worker Kathleen Kenny and parent advocate Sheryl Jarvis, who run a 15-week support group for women who use drugs and have experienced having one or more children removed or adopted.

Q: How would you compare the grief of a parent who loses a child to adoption to a parent whose child dies?

Jarvis: When a child … Read More

Act Now, Pay Later – When my son entered foster care, I couldn’t think, plan, or stay calm

Before my son entered foster care, I was working full time and going to school full time. I was known for multi-tasking. I never kept a calendar but I could make all appointments and never be late. I was on it. But once child welfare got involved in my life, things went sideways real fast.

After I lost my son, it was like I lost control over my body and mind. I couldn’t focus. I couldn’t … Read More

Healing the Hate and Hurt – How I learned to control my anger so my son could come home

Feeling powerless can make you feel angry. Angry is how I felt the whole three years my son was in foster care—and how I acted.

Finally, a worker took me aside and was straight with me. She told me that the way I was acting made the agency think I was the kind of person who would solve any problem with violence, and that made them think that it was not safe for me to have … Read More