Addiction

Making the Best of a Bad Situation – NJ mother wins State Supreme Court ruling on addiction

When you’re addicted and find out you’re pregnant, it can feel like there’s no good way out. If you ask for help, you can wind up being accused of maltreating your baby. But if you don’t ask for help, you aren’t doing all you can to make sure you’re ready for your baby.

In December, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in favor of an opiate-addicted pregnant women called Y.N., who followed … Read More

Finding Support

‘I Fought and Fought and Fought’ – I needed a lawyer to get my son home

Interview with Timothy Barbee

My journey in family court started because my fiancée died on me the day before my son’s 2nd birthday.

The day he was born, we’d had a little argument about his middle name. She wanted it to be James. I didn’t like it—I knew she’d had a boyfriend named James. She told me, “That’s my Daddy’s middle name!” I thought she was pulling a fast one on … Read More

Addiction

Paying a Higher Price – Mothers of color, drugs and child welfare: What parents need to know

White and Black people in this country have similar rates of illegal drug use, but research shows that Black parents come to the attention of the child welfare system for drug use at far higher rates. One 1990 Florida study found that doctors were 10 times more likely to report Black women for drug use during pregnancy than White women. A more recent study, conducted between 2001 and 2007 in California, found that … Read More

Finding Support

Child Left Behind – My son fell apart in a stressful school environment

It was homework time in my house one evening last fall. I called my son into the living room. He stormed in demanding popcorn. I told him, “No, not until you do your homework.” Why did I say that? He began screaming that he hated me. He had started telling me he hated me every time things didn’t go his way.

For months, homework had been a daily conflict. This time, I … Read More

Rise Magazine

Seen and Heard – I was able to listen to my son when I felt heard

Most parents whose children enter foster care have to take parenting classes in order to get their children back. I went to two parentingclasses that didn’t help before I found a program that worked for me.

The ones that didn’t help were the ones where the instructor read to us from a big parenting skills book or played old videos of moms trying to get their kids to listen. Then the instructor … 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