Posts By: Keyna Franklin

Use Your Power to Choose

Interview with Digna Denis, parent advocate at Children’s Aid, by Rise’s Keyna Franklin

Parents have the right to choose their services. You don’t need to wait on that agency referral. You have to learn how to work the system, because the system will work you over like you don’t know what hit you.

In court or in doctor’s offices, look for flyers. In the agency, ask, ask, ask other parents. If you hear from other parents, … Read More

How to Negotiate

Be clear about your goals. That advice might sound obvious but a lot of times people go into negotiation without being clear. Your goals might be the unity of your family and well-being of your child.

Write down your goal in a sentence or two and keep it in front of you. That can become a guide to how you’re acting or reacting. Things will happen to make us upset and draw off course from our … Read More

We Need a Childhood Protection Service

When my children were in foster care, it was hard for them to be children. They were 4, 9, 11 and 12 years old, but they were forced to be in adult business.

Instead of being asked questions like, “How was your day in school?” or “What things do you like doing?” the ACS worker would ask them questions like, “Did your mom hit you?” or “Did your mom do anything to you?” to see if they could make the case bigger than what it was.

Every Thursday when they came out of school, I saw my children for three hours. I was on time all the time. I brought them toys, clothes and food that they liked so they knew that I didn’t forget about them.

Luckily there was one other place where my children were allowed to be children, and that was at a youth center in the Bronx. The foster mother took them, and it helped them not focus on being in care and not seeing me every day. They did activities like football, basketball, dance.

In addition to being a place where children can stay kids, the community center helps families because they know what families need from day to day. I think families need more places like the center. For families under stress, organizations like the center can be a place to feel joy and togetherness and to share resources.

Promoting the Positive: The importance of supporting positive childhood experiences and healing in families, schools and communities

Research links adverse childhood experiences, known as ACEs, such as abuse, neglect or experiencing or witnessing violence, to health and well-being challenges in adulthood. But in her research, Dr. Christina Bethell, director of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that many people who experienced ACEs also had positive experiences as children that made a difference in adulthood.

Here, Dr. Bethell discusses the importance of focusing on positive and healing experiences for individuals, families and communities. She explains how to establish family routines that promote well-being even when families are under stress and how parents can set the agenda to get help their families may need.

Proposed Federal Legislation Would Suspend the ASFA Timeline, Not Parental Rights, During COVID-19

Recognizing the impact of the pandemic on families and the child welfare system, Representative Gwen Moore of Wisconsin proposed legislation to extend federal timelines for reunification without financial penalties to states. Here, Rep. Moore explains what the proposed bill would change, why it is important and how parents can support it.

Translate »