Legal Rights

Parents’ legal rights in child welfare proceedings vary from state to state, and even in different cities. Work with your lawyer or a parent advocate to learn more about your rights. Rise’s interviews with lawyers offer guidance on your rights and responsibilities.

From Rights to Reality: A blueprint for parent advocacy and family-centered child welfare reform

From Rights to Reality  is designed to unite parents and parent advocacy around a common set of goals. It identifies 15 rights for parents affected by the child welfare system. Most parents do not yet have these rights in child welfare proceedings. From Rights to Reality represents a commitment to working in our communities and nationwide to make these rights a reality.

Each right is illustrated by parents’ stories—stories that show how families can be strengthened … Read More

School Choice – How to stay involved in your child’s education when your child is in foster care.

Art by Patricia Battles

Erika Palmer, a staff attorney at Advocates for Children in New York City, explains parents’ rights to stay involved in their children’s education while their children are in foster care. Advocates for Children’s special project on foster care guides parents and child welfare agencies on educational decision-making for children in care.

1. Keep in Contact With the School

Parents should know that, even if you can’t have unsupervised contact with your children when … Read More

Luchando Para mi Hija – Tenía que aprender como enfrentar el sistema.

Read the English translation in Rise Issue #9: Immigration – Raising Children in a New Country.

El 14 de diciembre del 2001, yo ingresé a este país con una visa turista y decidí quedarme por problemas económicos y familiares en mi país de origen, Honduras. Mis dos hijos, que ahora son jóvenes, vivían con mi madre y yo envío la remesa familiar mensual.

Al primero no ganaba el dinero suficiente para cumplir con mis … Read More

Justicia Para Todos – Los inmigrantes indocumentados SÍ tienen derechos de inquilino.

Read the English translation in Rise Issue #9: Immigration – Raising Children in a New Country.

Uno de los problemas que pasamos en este país por ser inmigrantes y por no tener la residencia, ni información sobre los derechos como inquilinos es vivir en condiciones peligrosas sobre todo para los niños. En mi caso enfrenté el abuso por parte de mi casero.

Las condiciones más comunes en mi casa y tal vez en la … Read More

A Responsibility to Report – What to do if your child reveals sexual abuse.

art by Odessa Straub

Stacey Platt, the associate director of the Loyola Child Law Center in Chicago, explains how a parent whose child has been sexually abused can protect the child and protect the family from a child welfare investigation:

The law doesn’t offer a formula for how a parent should respond if a child says she was sexually abused by someone in the family or in the home. But there are general standards … Read More