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.

Breaking the Chain – Building a calm, safe home for my son.

Translated from Spanish.

When my son Dylan was 2, his father and I separated. I had to confront the reality that we weren’t coming together as parents, but instead were arguing and screaming at each other. At times he would even shove me or grab me by the arm.

It was very hard to make a decision to leave. I knew it would be sad for Dylan not to live with his father. But I also didn’t … Read More

‘I Was Her Little Flower That Was Blossoming’ – Mentors and peers helped me find my way back to hope.

“Girl, you better stop crying,” my grandmother said. I was young. Holding tears back was hard. My throat closed up and my head began to spin.

My grandmother was a warrior. She was my soldier. When I was little, everything she did was right in my eyes. I just couldn’t understand why I wasn’t supposed to cry.

In my grandma’s world there was no time for emotions. She raised four children and four grandchildren, and she worked … Read More

Making It Safe to Ask for Help – How can child welfare support more and investigate less?

Over the past three years, Rise has worked with and interviewed more than 40 mothers who grew up in foster care. A common theme is our fear that if we reach out for assistance, our families will be hurt rather than helped.

Here, we asked three professionals—including a program director whose own children grew up in foster care—about approaches that have been proven to help families. Suzanne Barnard is the director of the Evidence-Based Practice Group … Read More

Dreaming Again – Parenting Journey, therapy and writing are helping me believe in myself.

Being raised in foster care and my daughters ending up there used to seem like an unbreakable cycle. I had feelings of being stuck in the past. The abuse I encountered at home and in foster care left scars so deep. I suffer from them as I write this story.

Triggered

Going into adulthood I prayed and promised myself that I wouldn’t continue the cycle. But the problems I wanted to run from consumed me. My first … Read More

‘We Want to Be Heard, Not Fixed’ – Child welfare needs to focus on supporting people, not fixing problems.

When we grow up in care, we’re mandated to services. When we come back into the system as parents, it still feels like no one’s listening to what we think we need. Here, five foster care alum and parents—whose names have been changed because they have open cases—explain the approaches that have worked for them.

1. To support parents, listen to what we say we need.

Sienna: When you’re involved in the system, as a child or … Read More