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.

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

On My Own Terms – I needed to feel safe and in control to face my past.

For the most part, my childhood is a blur, but I remember being about 7 and my uncle feeling on my backside when I was asleep. That’s when my hell began. At the time, I lived with my uncle and my mom, who was deep into an addiction. My baby sister slept in her crib. I lay on my top bunk feeling scared and confused.

I first told my story when I was 14 and spent … Read More

Protecting Your Privacy – How to work with your lawyer to keep therapy as confidential as possible.

When you’ve grown up in foster care and you return to the system as a parent, it often seems like the court knows your entire mental health history. Because your current therapist also reports to the court about your progress, therapy can wind up feeling neither private nor safe.

Sonja Jacobsen, a lawyer for parents in Washington State, explains how to make therapy safer.

Q: Why is therapy important for parents when kids are in foster care?

A: … Read More