Rise works with parents affected by the child welfare system, whether through an investigation, “preventive” family support services to keep children safe at home, or placement of children in foster care. Since 2005, we have worked with nearly 200 parents. Learn more about our contributors here. Most contributors join Rise through writing groups at partner organizations that already work with parents. Parents outside of NYC can write by email. We strive to work with – and keep working with – all parents who reach out to tell their stories. However, our capacity is limited. Write to firstname.lastname@example.org about writing for Rise.
Rise is a partner project of the Fund for the City of New York. Foundation support is provided by Child Welfare Fund, JPB Foundation, North Star Fund, New York Women’s Foundation, Pinkerton Foundation. Rise also contracts with child welfare, policy and advocacy organizations. We are grateful to our partners, subscribers and generous individual donors.
224 W. 30th St. #804
New York, NY 10001
Phone: (646) 543-7099
Nora McCarthy, Director
Nora began working with parents affected by the child welfare system in 2003 and founded Rise in 2005. She previously edited the youth publications New Youth Connections and Represent, a magazine by teens in foster care, both published by Youth Communication. Under Nora’s co-leadership, Represent earned top awards from the Association of Educational Publishers and Mental Health America. Nora has written for Newsday, Child Welfare Watch and City Limits and graduated from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University. email@example.com
Jeanette Vega, Training Director Leader
Jeanette has contributed to Rise since 2008 and became a Parent Leader in 2016. In 2018 she was promoted to Training Director. Jeanette specializes in presenting to child welfare professionals about her experience and about parents' perspectives and leads Rise's work consulting with the Administration for Children's Services and other agencies on their internal staff trainings. Jeanette graduated from the Child Welfare Organizing Project's Parent Leadership Training in 2005 and was one of the first parent advocates to staff Child Safety Conferences in New York City. Jeanette worked as a Parent Advocate at Episcopal Social Services for three years and is also certified as a visiting coach/ host. firstname.lastname@example.org
Bianca Shaw, Public Speaking Director
Bianca has been the training project manager at Community Connections for Youth, overseeing 25 Transformational Mentoring programs for justice-involved youth, and was a caseworker at the West Side Center for Senior and Supportive Housing, where she created opportunities for formerly homeless adults to speak about the complexities of navigating the social service system. Bianca is a graduate of the College of New Rochelle and Hunter College School of Social Work. email@example.com
Jessica Weidmann, Operations Director
Jessica has been a parent attorney at the Center for Family Representation and an Equal Justice Works Fellow, focusing on the intergenerational cycle of foster care. Jessica is a graduate of Columbia Law School and Columbia School of Social Work. She has also worked in domestic health policy research and on international women’s health initiatives. firstname.lastname@example.org
Teresa Bachiller, Rise & Shine Coordinator
Teresa is the former assistant director of the Child Welfare Organizing Project and has been a family coach at Graham and the assistant coordinator of the East Harlem Community Partnership. Teresa runs Rise's annual parent leadership program for parents affected by the child welfare system: email@example.com
Nancy Fortunato, Senior Parent Leader
Nancy is a Parent Advocate at JCCA and graduate of the Child Welfare Organizing Project who joined Rise's Leadership Team in 2015. Nancy completed Rise's Public Speaking Skills Training and Advanced Public Speaking workshops, as well as our Advanced Writing Workshop and Reporting Group. She was promoted to Senior Parent Leader in January 2018. firstname.lastname@example.org
Robbyne Wiley, Parent Leader
Robbyne joined a Rise writing workshop in 2002, before the organization formally began, and has been a member of the Rise Advisory Board since it started in 2007. Robbyne is a graduate of the Child Welfare Organizing Project Parent Leadership Curriculum and has been a parent advocate at Child Safety Conferences. Robbyne is a member of Rise's Leadership Team and completed Rise's Advanced Writing Group and Public Speaking Skills Training and Advanced Public Speaking Program. email@example.com
Keyna Franklin, Parent Leader
Keyna joined Rise in Fall 2017 as a participant in two workshops to develop Rise TIPS and a presentation on service planning. She was previously a volunteer parent advocate at Episcopal Social Services. She came on staff as a Parent Leader in January 2018. firstname.lastname@example.org
Rachel Blustain, Content Supervisor
Rachel serves as the Editorial Director of Rise from 2011 to 2017. She has written for the Daily Beast, City Limits and The Nation, and is a graduate of Brown University and Hunter College School of Social Work. She previously edited New Youth Connections and Represent and worked as a dropout prevention counselor in the city schools. Under Rachel’s co-leadership, Represent won the Coming Up Taller Award for outstanding arts and humanities programs for youth. Rachel won an Ippies award in the category of best social issues story for an article on the impact of a parents’ arrest on children and her City Limits series on child protective investigations was nominated for a Deadline Club award for public service. email@example.com
Caryn Ashare, Chief Program Officer, Catholic Guardian
Digna Denis, Parent Advocate, Children's Aid
Dana Guyet, Director, Prevention and Community Support, HRA Homelessness Prevention Administration
Keith Hefner, Executive Director, Youth Communication
Bonnie Kornberg, Chief Performance Officer, Graham Windham
Lindsey McCormack, Senior Grants Officer, International Planned Parenthood Federation/Western Hemisphere Region
Hope Newton, Parent Advocate, Center for Family Representation
Rise contracts with organizations to run writing groups; provide meaningful parent input on child welfare practice and policy; bring parents’ stories into parent education and peer support; and bring parents’ perspectives to child welfare forums, panels and staff training.
Our United With Parent Reunification Collaborative includes Children's Aid, Graham Windham, Heartshare-St. Vincent's Services, JCCA, SCO and Rising Ground. It is supported by NYC's Administration for Children’s Services.
In New York, Rise has run parent writing groups at Albert Einstein Infant-Parent Court Project, Bedford Hills Correctional Facility, Brooklyn Family Defense Project, Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, the Center for Family Representation, the Child Welfare Organizing Project, Graham Windham, Sing Sing Correctional Facility through the Osborne Association, Visiting Nurse Service of New York Bronx Fathers Program and Voices of Women Organizing Project. Rise also ran a writing group for foster care staff at Sheltering Arms.
Nationally, Rise ran a writing group at Fresno County Department of Social Services. Parent contributors have come to Rise through the Birth Parent National Network, Chicago Family Defense Center, Detroit Center for Family Advocacy and the Washington State Parent Advocacy Network.