News

Broke and Alone — It wasn’t love that made me open the door to my daughter’s unstable father

When I was 23 and my doctor told me I was pregnant, I put my head down and burst out crying.

A piece of me felt grateful that God chose me to bring life into the world. But I also felt angry, ashamed, selfish and scared. The father and I had only been dating a short while. Plus, I had a job but he didn’t, and neither of us was financially secure.

Still, when my boyfriend told me that … Read More

Nancy’s Story: Helping Parents Find Their Power

I never want another parent or child to feel like I did facing the child welfare system—alone and powerless.

**

I was 5 years old when I was removed from my mother. My mother was at times loving, but God rest her soul, suffered from schizophrenia.

After that, I was placed with my grandmother, but my grandmother was not a loving person—no hugs or kisses. I never really understood that.

When she gave us up, my sister and I went … Read More

Sharkkarah’s Story: Getting the Monster Out

To me, the child welfare system is like the monster in the dark in my kids’ room. I have done everything I’ve had to do to get that monster out.

When I became a mother, I wanted to end my family’s cycle of losing children to the foster care system.

My grandmother lost my father.

My mother and father lost me.

My sister lost her children.

My brother lost his child.

ACS came into my life because I was hitting my … Read More

‘How do people get through unbelievable, harrowing difficulty?’ – An interview with author Andrew Solomon

National Book Award-winning author Andrew Solomon will speak at Rise’s annual benefit on October 19. Here he discusses his work, his own story and his connection to Rise.

Q: What do you see as the common theme across your work?

A: The theme that interests me the most is resilience: How do people achieve resilience? How do they manage to go through difficult circumstances and come out OK?

I’ve written on a broad range of subjects.With my book The … Read More

New Jezebel/Rise Series: ‘In One Day I Had Lost Everything That Mattered to Me’

Last fall, after the tragic death of Zymere Perkins, a child whose family was repeatedly investigated by the NYC child welfare system, many news outlets advanced a familiar narrative of monstrous parents and failing caseworkers — and suggested that investigators had become too hesitant about removing children from their homes.

But recent reporting has captured the opposite reality–that child welfare investigations and removals are a constant, terrifying presence in the lives of poor parents.

Now Jezebel is publishing a five-part series drawn from Rise to … Read More