Rise Magazine

Partners in Planning — When parents and caseworkers work together, families move in the right direction

Toni Miner and Sherry Tomlinson, parent advocates in Jefferson County, Colorado and Columbus, Kansas, discuss how parents can work effectively with their caseworkers to get the services they want and need.

Q: What can parents do if their worker isn’t helping them find services?

Miner: Workers are supposed to help parents gain whatever resources they need—not necessarily call all the programs, but at least get families going in the right direction. It’s also a worker’s responsibility to … Read More

News

Power to the Parent — A NYC program puts service planning in the hands of parents and provides peer support

Parents fighting to reunite with their kids often feel like they have no say in their family’s service planning and are given services without being asked what they need. Many also feel alone in the process.

Several child protective agencies across the nation have responded by implementing family conferencing and parent advocate programs.

Michael Arsham, director of The Office of Advocacy for NYC’s Administration for Children’s Services, spoke to Rise about NYC’s Enhanced Family Conferencing Initiative (EFCI), … Read More

Rise Magazine

Group Think — When parents are supported to participate, workers can make better decisions

Recently, I facilitated a Family Team Meeting with a mother who was going through tremendous stress. Her partner had recently died and she’d been diagnosed with a serious illness. She also suffered from anxiety and depression

Up until these crises in her life, she’d worked, had an apartment, cared for her daughter. But after,
she started losing interest in life and hoarding belongings in ways that were dangerous. Her daughter, 12, had developmental and cognitive disabilities. Eventually, … Read More

Rise Magazine

Case Control — Your rights in service planning

Parents who feel powerless during the service planning process often accept services, schedules and other demands placed on them by the child welfare system that they can’t do or don’t believe will be helpful because they aren’t informed or are too afraid to speak up. It’s important and empowering for parents to know that they have rights in their family’s planning and how to assert them.

Rise spoke to Kaela Economos, social work director at Brooklyn Defender … Read More

Rise Magazine

Truth Without Fear — When your child’s in care, honesty and dishonesty are both risky

Earlier this year, I sat down with a mother, her case planner and her CPS investigator.
I was the supervisor on the case. The CPS worker began by stating that the mother was suffering from paranoia and because of that, wasn’t allowing her son to go to school.

The mother shook her head in disagreement but waited until the CPS worker had finished talking. Then I said that I had seen her shaking her head and asked … Read More

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