Advocacy

Parent-led advocacy and parent input in child welfare reform is essential to better addressing the root causes of family crises; meeting the service needs of high-risk families; reducing disproportionate placements and disparate treatment of families of color; changing the adversarial relationship between child welfare systems and poor communities; improving court practices; and ensuring that foster care placement is used as sparingly as possible so that children are more likely to grow up safe with their families.

New Law Reforming NY State Central Registry Will Provide Justice and Relief to Families

On April 3, New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo signed a bill that will bring relief to parents accused of neglect. The bill makes it harder to list parents on the State Central Registry (SCR) and limits the time that parents can be listed for neglect, which can affect employment. Parents and advocates have been pushing for years to reform the way the SCR works in order to reduce its harmful impact on families and communities.

Here, Joyce McMillan, family coordinator at Sinergia and founder of PLAN (Parent Legislative Action Network), explains the new law and the advocacy that led to its passage.

NY State Legislature Passes New Open Adoption Bill to Protect Children’s Family Bonds

Legislators in New York State are considering passing a bill to ensure that children adopted from foster care can continue to have contact with their parents, even when rights are terminated, if it’s in the child’s best interest. Here, Rise’s Sara Werner, who lost her daughter to adoption but reunified with her son, interviews Amy Mulzer, a staff attorney for law and appeals in the Family Defense Practice at Brooklyn Defender Services:

HBO’s ‘Foster’ Documents a Brutal System but Leaves Out the Solutions That Can Strengthen Families

“Foster” is a documentary that aired on HBO on May 7th and focuses on the lives of a few children in the Los Angeles foster care system. I’ve been hurt by the system as a child and a parent. I expected the film to show only the angelic side of the system—to portray how the system protects children and saves their lives. But I found myself shocked at the rawness of the film. It showed … Read More