Generations in Care

When you grow up in foster care and become a mother, your greatest hope is that you’ll get to be your child’s Mommy. Yet parents who grew up in foster care are at high risk of having their own children removed. Rise’s “My Story, My Life” writing workshops are for young mothers who grew up in care. Stories here describe the painful relationship between child welfare systems and the mothers they helped raise — and what it takes to keep children safe at home.

Triggered – It’s hard to protect my daughter when I’m just learning to protect myself

In my family, chemical dependency and physical abuse were the tools we used to survive. That way of coping has been going strong in my family for decades. The result for my siblings and me was that we were removed and placed in foster care twice—first when I was 5 years old, and then for good when I was 8.

I grew up in the system with a powerful force inside of me: a burning desire … Read More

The Fear Stays With Me – Living my life right hasn’t made me feel safe from an investigation

It seems like I’ve been afraid of child protective services all of my life.

Growing up in the projects, we called CPS the “Parent Police,” and it was normal for the girls I knew to lose custody of their children because they were smoking weed, drinking or hanging out late. Many of my friends still don’t have custody of their children.

I grew up in foster care, and I lost my own son, … Read More

Still “Mommy” – I’m signing over guardianship but I’m not giving up on my kids

I lost my kids 6 years ago. On April 8th 2008 I went to court for a removal of the kids. My kids were 7, 6 and 2. That was basically the worst day of my life.

When I first had my kids I was living with my mother. Then, when my youngest was born, I went to the shelter with her father. We got an apartment together. But then he went to jail.

It was hard … Read More

Family After Foster Care – I want my daughter to have the love and security I finally found

I met my child’s mother when I was 21 and she was 22. After I got the courage to ask her out, we caught that instant connection. I had grown up in foster care, and she had come from drama, so we understood each other. Our relationship lasted for over four years and for a long time it was good.

In the last year, she became pregnant and we had a daughter. I really thought it … Read More

‘I Needed Help That People in My Life Couldn’t Give Me’ – Through preventive services I’ve found ways to feel safe, calm and connected

My father was gone and my mother had died by the time I was 7. I was raised by relatives. My main caregiver was what you’d consider “old fashioned”—strict and not very affectionate. I felt insecure and always looked over.

When I was 13, I began to rebel. At 17, my relatives placed me in foster care.

Going through foster care gave me strength and resilience but also a place of loneliness and feeling unloved.

After I aged … Read More