Handling Your Case

A Knock on the Door – My family needed support, not separation.

About 7 p.m. there was a knock on the door. I was afraid I already knew who it was and that my family was in trouble.

The problems started when my son was 10 years old and his grandfather died. His grandfather was more like a father to him than his own father. Many times when my son would visit their house, his father wouldn’t be there, but his grandfather was, and they’d sit and talk … Read More


My Little Angel – I promised my daughter that I’d beat my crack addiction to mother her. It took a few years, but I did it.

Illustration by Martell Brown/YC

When I got pregnant in January, 1999, my husband told me I needed to stop smoking crack if I wanted this baby. Four months later, I finally stopped.

I’d had four children before Little Mama, and lost them all to foster care. I was determined to do right by my daughter. Before I went to the hospital to give birth, I even changed my last name so that when the hospital … Read More


One Step at a Time – How you can recover from your addiction.

Art by Emily Dinan

In November 1999, ACS sent me to Women Connect, an outpatient substance abuse treatment program affiliated with Lincoln Hospital to deal with my drinking problem. It turned out to be the beginning of a new life for me.

I was blessed with Ms. Angela Torres, my substance abuse counselor. Now I’ve been clean for five years. Last month, I was even hired as a parent advocate at Children’s Village, … Read More


Conflict Resolution

Naomi Weinstein, director of Phoenix House’s center on addiction in the family has been training substance abuse treatment providers to better understand child welfare issues. Here, in her own words, she explains how the training will help parents.

Treatment and child welfare don’t usually get along too well. In treatment, the client is an adult and your sympathies and work are to advocate for the client. In child welfare, the social worker is concerned … Read More

Mental Health

Winning Him Back – My visits proved I was worth my son’s trust.

My baby’s father passed away when I was pregnant. After, I felt I had to block out everything I was feeling so I wouldn’t lose the baby. But I found out later that those feelings were still with me.

For three years, life was pretty uneventful for my son and me. We went to the park to feed the squirrels. We watched Sesame Street and Barney together. He would help me make dinner and we’d eat … 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