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.

Together Parents Can Change Policy

The Washington State Parent Ally Committee (WPAC) brings parent advocates from across Washington together to share the pressing issues they see on the ground and then to work toward passage of legislative change.

As the parent lead of WPAC for many years, Alise Morrisey understood that collaboration was key to the passage of many important pieces of legislation, including a bill about background checks that made it easier to place children with relatives; a bill that funded parent advocacy statewide; and a bill that gave incarcerated parents more time to reunify with their children.

Morrisey still believes in the power of legislative advocacy, but today, she says, she would like to see parent advocates push for more fundamental change to support families outside the child welfare system.