Nancy Fortunato, Senior Parent Leader, and Jeanette Vega, Training Director at Rise, submitted written testimony to the NY State Assembly Committee on Children and Families and the Task Force on Women’s Issues as part of a public hearing in Albany, NY, November 21, 2019.
“At the city and state level, affected communities and parents should guide decisions about how to use available funds to best meet the needs of our communities and families.”
Mariya Kolesnichenko, Rise contributor and child welfare system-affected parent, submitted written testimony to a recent NY State Assembly public hearing on family involvement in the child welfare and family court systems.
Rise is hiring a Program Assistant to join our team of passionate advocates for safety and justice for families affected by the child welfare system. Learn more and apply!
Throughout Rise’s series on schools and child welfare, parents describe how school reports to child protective services took them by surprise. Sometimes, the calls were made without sufficient cause. Other times, problems at home escalated when schools were not willing or able to adequately address a child’s behavior problems. Even for families who got help, the trauma of child welfare involvement far over-shadowed the benefits.
Here, Asia Piña and Crystal Baker-Burr, a social worker and an education attorney at The Bronx Defenders, warn parents that some schools may call in reports far more quickly than others. They suggest ways parents can navigate challenges and improve their relationship with their child’s school to avoid unnecessary reports.
Many parents at Rise have described how their child’s school denied their child testing for educational disabilities or supports to help a child learn in school, even when the child was clearly struggling. Then, when problems escalated, the schools called child protection.
There are organizations and people who can help parents get the help they need, when they need it. In NYC, Advocates for Children provides advice and legal aid to ensure that low-income families have access to quality education for their children. Promise Project helps low-income families properly evaluate their children for learning disabilities and get the services they need.
We spoke with Maggie Moroff, special education policy coordinator at Advocates for Children; Lillian Murphy, senior project manager at Promise Project; and Lorenzo Torres, supervising education coordinator at Promise Project to find out about children’s rights and the IEP process.