Posts By: Piazadora Footman

Reducing the Risk – Mothers in foster care need to know what’s in their case file and address risks.

Many of us who grew up in foster care feel like the child welfare system is just waiting for us to mess up, and according to the American Bar Association’s Center for Children and the Law, 77% of lawyers who responded to a recent survey said they believe that mothers in foster care are separated from their children for less serious allegations than other mothers.

Here, Jessica Weidmann, a lawyer at the Center for Family Representation … Read More

Race to the Top – Paying attention to race in child welfare is a first step to system change.

This issue of Rise is dedicated to looking at why families of color have higher rates of investigations, higher rates of foster care placement, and longer stays in care than White families, even when White parents and parents of color are facing similar allegations.

Inequality isn’t just in child welfare. It’s in the rundown playgrounds in our neighborhoods, the supermarkets without fresh food, the liquor stores on every corner, and the schools and hospitals that are … Read More

In My Corner – My lawyer believed in me even when my family didn’t.

Most people I come in contact with have horrible stories about their lawyers. Not me. I had a good experience with my two lawyers, Charlyne Peay and Sharon Yoo. They were from the Urban Justice Center Mental Health Project, an effort to connect parents with mental illness to private practice lawyers who volunteer to represent them in child welfare proceedings.

In Good Hands

In my case, I didn’t have the right to a … Read More

Making the Best of a Bad Situation – NJ mother wins State Supreme Court ruling on addiction

When you’re addicted and find out you’re pregnant, it can feel like there’s no good way out. If you ask for help, you can wind up being accused of maltreating your baby. But if you don’t ask for help, you aren’t doing all you can to make sure you’re ready for your baby.

In December, the New Jersey Supreme Court ruled in favor of an opiate-addicted pregnant women called Y.N., who followed … Read More

Paying a Higher Price – Mothers of color, drugs and child welfare: What parents need to know

White and Black people in this country have similar rates of illegal drug use, but research shows that Black parents come to the attention of the child welfare system for drug use at far higher rates. One 1990 Florida study found that doctors were 10 times more likely to report Black women for drug use during pregnancy than White women. A more recent study, conducted between 2001 and 2007 in California, found that … Read More

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