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.

A Step in My Direction – I wanted to be left alone but kindness helped me find my way

My kids were taken into custody in 2007. I was using meth and selling also.

I never, ever wanted to hurt my kids. I thought I loved them with all my heart.

At the time, Jayme was 2 and Sheryl was 3. My kids loved to be with me. I rode a bike with a trailer attached to the back that the kids loved to ride in. They would cry when … Read More

Someone to Turn To

Having no one to turn to makes parenting harder and increases the risk of child maltreatment. But until now, the federal government has mostly funded investigations and removals, without putting much money into supporting and strengthening families. Too often, what that teaches parents is to hide their problems rather than reach out for help.

This summer, Senator Ron Wyden of Oregon introduced the Family Stability and Kinship Care Act, which would allow states to expand support … Read More

Being There for Baby—and Yourself: A new report focuses on supporting teen parents in foster care as parents and people.

Recently I had a chance to read the report “Expectant & Parenting Youth in Foster Care: Addressing their developmental needs to promote healthy parent and child outcomes” by Charlyn Harper Browne at the Center for the Study of Social Policy.

I became a mother while I was in foster care, and I found the report inspiring, relatable and informative. The report says that parents in the system and their children do best if the parents … Read More

‘I Want to Feel Safe but I’m Scared’ – I’m searching for a therapist who can help me with PTSD.

I’ve been diagnosed with Chronic Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (C-PTSD). When I was little, my mother hit and kicked me all the time. My step-dad abused me. I’ve been raped multiple times. The last time was in 2005. I’ve dealt with all of this mostly by smoking weed and staying in my house.

I want to get treatment and live life. But going to counseling and speaking to others about what I’ve held in for so long … Read More

Laying the Past to Rest – Calming your body’s sensations can help to heal trauma.

Bessel Van Der Kolk, medical director of the Justice Treatment Institute’s Trauma Center in Massachusetts and renowned trauma treatment researcher and specialist, talks about ways to recover from trauma.

Q: Your recent book is called “The Body Keeps the Score.” Can you explain what that means and why it’s important for people who have experienced trauma to understand it?

A: Trauma lives in our bodies. Our brains try to keep our bodies from feeling that trauma. But … Read More