Insights #2: A Guide to Improving Frontline Practice with Parents in the Child Welfare System

This paper presents Rise’s recommendations for improving frontline practice with parents in the child welfare system. It centers on strategies to increase parents’ power.

As Rise’s parent leaders have written: “To regain our children, we need to find the power inside of us. The child welfare process can make us feel more powerless and at the mercy of more powerful people, or it can support parents in becoming powerful enough to overcome our obstacles.”

Frontline staff, attorneys and court personnel can intentionally counteract powerlessness and build parents’ power so that they are more likely to quickly and safely reunify with their children.

This Insights paper includes recommendations for combating powerlessness by establishing safety; building knowledge and opportunities for choice and voice; and strengthening relationships. Personal essays by parents as well as frontline staff illuminate these concepts in practice.

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