In the coming weeks, Rise will publish a new series about parents’ legal rights and representation, as well as related legislation. Our goal is to familiarize parents with legal processes that you can potentially seek out, such as early representation or a lawsuit against the child welfare system. The series will also highlight legal protections that you can advocate for through legislation.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, Rise will continue to provide information and resources to parents and advocate for parents’ rights and needs with the child welfare system. At this time of crisis, it is particularly important to ensure that parents’ voices are heard and parents’ rights are protected.
Parents across the country have shared that courts are closed, hearings are delayed and in-person visits and services are canceled. Many “virtual” hearings, visits and services that are available to some parents come with severe challenges and limitations. Additionally, processes are changing quickly and it can be hard for parents to access critical information.
In New York City, family court is operating by phone, with most hearings cancelled, and parents must call to get a lawyer assigned. Parents who don’t have technology for virtual visits or services should have a burner phone or other technology provided by their foster care agency, which can be reimbursed for this cost by ACS. Call your attorney or the ACS Office of Advocacy if you do not have what you need.
As ACF Children’s Bureau leadership cautioned last week, “We cannot allow the coronavirus to serve a modern-day orphan train that leads to the redistribution of other people’s children.”
Read the Series:
Interviews and Articles
- Clearing Your Name After an Investigation: How to Seal and Amend Your Record by Keyna Franklin and Sara Werner
- As the 2020 School Year Begins, Know Your Rights and Get Involved
- False and Malicious CPS Reports: Why NY Should End Anonymous Reporting by Kenya Franklin, Melissa Landrau and Sara Werner
- New Law Reforming NY State Central Registry Will Provide Justice and Relief to Families by Keyna Franklin and Sara Werner
- How Early Legal Representation Can Protect Families by Careena Farmer, Melissa Landrau, Sara Werner and Keyna Franklin
- ‘The Challenges of the Virus Have Acted Only to Heighten an Already Urgent Need for Systemic Change’ by Keyna Franklin, Sara Werner and Cynthia Zizola
- Protecting Families from Poverty – and CPS: How Early Legal Representation is Working in New Jersey by Keyna Franklin and Cynthia Zizola
- A Parent’s Ally: Providing “A Bridge” for Parents in Early Legal Representation by Keyna Franklin
- How to Sue the System by Sarah Harris, Careena Farmer, Cynthia Zizola, Genesis Pagan and Keyna Franklin
- Suing the System: ‘It was about fighting for my rights.’ by Keyna Franklin
- ‘I Was Scared for Anyone to Know I Was Pregnant’ – How to Protect Against Removal at Birth by Careena Farmer, Melissa Landrau, Sara Werner and Keyna Franklin
- How Holistic Legal Representation Supports Reunification by Keyna Franklin
- How Parents Can Advocate for their Children to Be Placed with Family by Keyna Franklin
- ‘We had to see it through for my niece, my sister, our family’: How Amber Wilkes-Smith filed an appeal to try to keep her family together by Keyna Franklin
- Proposed Federal Legislation Would Suspend the ASFA Timeline, Not Parental Rights During COVID-19 by Keyna Franklin
- Know Your Rights: State Central Register – Rise and Manhattan Legal Services Facebook Live (Video Recording)