Parent advocates have an essential impactful role in providing effective legal representation to protect parents’ rights, prevent family separation and support parents involved with the child welfare system. Here, Iesha Hammons, the Parent Ally at Legal Services of New Jersey, explains how she supports parents, why she does this work, the challenges of being a Parent Ally and how she takes care of herself in the role.
Posts By: Keyna Franklin
Interview with Kiran Malpe, clinical director of the Strong Starts Court Initiative in NYC
Planning is really important during stressful times, and there’s a part of our brain that plans, organizes and carries out our tasks. But stress and depression can affect our planning.
The word “stress” minimizes what court-involved families experience, which is “toxic stress.” That’s feeling overwhelmed and having no one to help you.
With toxic stress, parents may have difficulty maintaining routine … Read More
Last March, changes were made to Article 10 of the Family Court Act through the state legislature. The changes require schools and ACS to work with parents to resolve educational issues related to a student’s excessive absences prior to filing a petition of educational neglect. ACS also has to provide reasons why the educational issue cannot be resolved without going to court. To understand the new law, as well as p how NYC’s child welfare and education systems work together, we spoke with staff at ACS.
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.
BY KEYNA FRANKLIN and JEANETTE VEGA
For decades, parents in the child welfare system have felt powerless, demonized, silenced and alone. Things have begun to change in places where parents have united to use their shared experience to support one another and work for change.
Today, according to the Birth Parent National Network, there are organizations of child welfare-affected parents in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota and Washington.
In … Read More