Rise Magazine

Rise magazine is written by parents who have faced the child welfare system in their own lives. Many people don’t know that the majority of children who enter foster care return home to their parents–and that most children in care wish for a lifelong relationship with their parents, whether they live with them or not. Helping parents is fundamental to helping children in foster care.

Through personal essays and reporting, parents illuminate every aspect of the child welfare experience from parents’ perspectives. Sign up for a free individual subscription or purchase print copies to hand out to parents and child welfare staff. For professionals, Rise stories offer insight that can improve how you engage and support fragile families. For parents, Rise offers information, peer support, and hope.

Rise Magazine

Diplomacy and Determination – When I had a conflict with my son’s school, I was able to get what my family needed by being both respectful and strong.

My son was in several daycare centers starting when he was 6 weeks old. I checked them all out carefully and, in all of them, my son was almost always happy when I picked him up. I felt secure. My worries started when I moved him to a daycare that was close to our home. From the beginning, I was alarmed when I’d come to pick up my son. The kids were screaming and running around. Then my son started telling me daily about different kids hitting him.

There came a time when there’d been four incidents in seven days! I felt hopeless and angry. I thought of a time when a foster parent had told me that I wasn’t allowed to sit on the couch because it was only for their children, not foster children. I felt like I always felt as a child in the system: that no one cared. I felt like no one was there to support me or my child. But I also wanted to grow from being that foster child to a successful parenting adult. So that night I decided to email the director.

Advocacy

How to Get School-Based Supports for Your Child

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.

Legal Rights

When Schools Use Child Welfare as a Weapon – What a reporter learned investigating malicious reports

Last November, The Huffington Post published an article that documented how some schools misuse reports to child protective services. These reports were done to pressure parents to send a child with behavior problems to a different school or to agree to a school’s recommendations for services.

Most school personnel don’t make reports maliciously, but the reporter, Caroline Preston, a senior editor at The Hechinger Report, said she thinks mandated reporting laws contribute to these kinds of calls because “there are pretty significant consequences to not reporting, and many fewer consequences to over-reporting.”

Here, Preston tells us about the parents she interviewed—and all the parents who reached out after her story was published to say they’d had similar experiences.

Handling Your Case

My Broken Life – My kids were never taken but child protective services hurt my son and me so much

My story is about how my son’s school came into my life and changed it in a way that I don’t know if I can ever be who I was before.

It’s about how I got arrested. Lost my job. Have sleepless nights.

A part of me has been stolen.

If I had the power, I would let the system know that child protective services needs to do proper investigations. Don’t label me without knowing me.

I live in the South Bronx. In my neighborhood, there are a lot of investigations. If I lived elsewhere and my son went to a different school, I think this would have never, ever happened.