Posts By: Rise

‘I Made a Mistake’ Not ‘I Am a Mistake’ – How parents—and the child welfare system—can stand up to shame.

Ambrosia Eberhardt, Danielle Goodwin and Heather Cantamessa are “Veteran Parents” with the Washington State Parent Advocate Network, a project of The Children’s Home Society. Here, they explain the importance of addressing shame in child welfare:

Q: Parent advocates and child welfare administrators in Washington state have begun a series of panel discussions on shame. Why shame?

Heather: All of us are parent advocates who had our own children placed in foster care. In the past year, we’ve … Read More

Mothering the Mother – How foster parents and staff can strengthen mother-child bonds.

The Ackerman Institute’s Center for the Developing Child and Family in New York has partnered with New York City Children’s Services to train foster parents and staff at mother-child residences, and is beginning trainings in Washington D.C. Here, Martha Edwards, the Center’s director, explains how staff and foster parents can support the mother-child bond:

After a baby is born, staff and foster parents sometimes look at moms struggling and find it easier to just take over. … Read More

The Color of Hope: Race can affect whether parents get the support to overcome.

My child welfare story (Shrounda) began when I moved into a neighborhood high in drug use and poverty. I was an African-American woman in my mid-30s, married with two children. I was arrogant—I thought I could control my drug use and that my surroundings wouldn’t affect me. Instead I found myself in the depth of an ever-evolving addiction. I went from using alcohol and cocaine to using crack daily. I desired so much out of … Read More

First You Have to Gain Our Trust – Parents’ prescriptions for keeping kids of color out of foster care.

The Birth Parent National Network, coordinated by the Children’s Trust and Prevention Funds, connects parent leaders nationwide. Here, BPNN members Jeffrey Mays, parent partner at the Public Children Services Association of Ohio in Cleveland; Shrounda Selivanoff, parent advocate at Evergreen Manor Inpatient Treatment and volunteer at Catalyst for Kids in Washington State; and Piazadora Footman, editorial assistant at Rise in New York, share parents’ perspectives on how to bring fewer children of color into the … Read More

Brokering Change – Parents and community leaders are key in reducing Black children in foster care.

In Fresno, Calif., “parent partners” and “cultural brokers” specially trained to build connections between the child welfare system and the Black community have helped bring down the number of Black children in foster care. Here, Deputy Director for Child Welfare Wendy Osikafo, Fresno County Parent Partners Ritchie Barker and Tina Jaso, and Cultural Broker LaTrina Bowen explain the reforms that have made a difference.

Q: What motivated change in Fresno?

Wendy Osikafo: Before 2003, Fresno’s child welfare … Read More