Posts By: Bevanjae Kelley

Burden of Proof

Fathers must take responsibility to earn their rights.

Lauren Elfant, an attorney with Bronx Defenders, explains fathers; legal rights and responsibilities.

Q: How can new fathers protect their relationships with their children?A: When your child is born, you want the mom to put your name on the birth certificate and you want to stay involved. Regular contact with your children is very important. If you’re not on your child’s birth certificate, then you should … Read More

Adoption kept our family together

I will never forget the night I received a call from my daughter, frantic and crying, “They took my kids, Ma. I don’t know where they took them.”

“ACS and the police.”
My granddaughters were 14 months and 3 at the time. I imagined the police and the worker snatching the girls from their mother. I imagined my daughter frantic, not wanting to let go. Then, off into the night they went.


At that moment I … Read More

What You Should Know About Child Safety Conferences

In NYC, parents facing removal of their children are asked to attend a Child Safety Conference, where a decision is made whether or not a child will be placed in foster care. Many other jurisdictions hold similar conferences.

As a Parent Advocate, I have supported parents in hundreds of conferences. When parents come prepared, it can increase the chances that children remain at home, and it shows that you are committed to resolving concerns about you.

1st … Read More

There and Back – One painful day ripped my family apart. Fifteen years later, we’re coming together again.

art by Karolina Zaniesienko

When my daughter was 12, she was kidnapped and sexually assaulted. She went through the trauma of being raped and left to die. This had a devastating impact on her life and mine. She is only now, 15 years later, beginning to heal.

It happened one morning when I left home early to go to a job interview and my children, Pilar and Maurice, were late getting ready for school. Maurice … Read More

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