Mental Health

Paying for the Past – After years in foster care, my son came home angry. Could we be a family again?

On December 8, 2000, my 15-year-old son was discharged into my custody after spending a long time in a residential treatment center. I thought everything would be good. I had wanted him to come home for so long. But his anger soon overwhelmed me.

My children were taken from me when my son was 5, because of my drug addiction. In foster care, Luis’ anger just grew and grew. He was angry at the system because … Read More

Mental Health

A Safe Place to Connect – How therapy can help your family heal.

HELPING HAND

Adrienne Williams-Myers, program director of Project Safe at the Northside Center for Child Development, explains how therapy can support reunifying families:

Q: How can therapy help families reconnect?

A: When parents and kids are involved in the system, their world has been full of other people telling them what to do. Therapy is a time for them to focus on themselves and their goals. I help families identify their strengths, resilience and love for each … Read More

Addiction

Making My Son Proud – I had to prove I could be trusted.

My son Louie has been a good kid ever since he was small. He rarely complained about anything. He was one of those toddlers that clings to the mother. Wherever I went he was there. Summers when I was outside playing spades, my son was curious so he kept pestering me until I taught him how to play. When we were short, my son would fill in.

As he got older, Louie loved basketball. He filled … Read More

Mental Health

‘It’s OK to Need Support’ – I found the help I needed to fight for my dreams.

Q: How can therapy help families reconnect?

A: When I started to come to the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, a preventive services agency, my main objective was to get help talking to my son’s father.

Since I was a child I had dreamed about meeting a good man who wanted to share my dreams to marry and form my own family. Unfortunately, I met the father of my child and a little while later … Read More

Legal Rights

What to Expect from Your Lawyer

When I first met my lawyer, she was just straightforward. She told me, “Stay with your rehab program, don’t use any drugs, don’t miss court or your visits,” and that was it. But as she saw that I was working to get my daughter home, she began to fight for me. She asked that I be granted weekend visits and told the judge, “I trust my client.”

The day the judge announced that my daughter could … 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