Shatavia Hurt testified against ACS Family Enrichment Center (FEC) expansion during the virtual hearing of the NY City Council Committee on General Welfare on 6/14/21.
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.
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.
At a NYC City Council General Welfare Committee hearing on racial disparities in child welfare on Oct. 28, parents – including Rise’s Jeanette Vega and Imani Worthy – and advocates citywide testified about urgent adjustments and broad shifts to reduce the reach and harm of child welfare. Here is Imani’s testimony, and video where Imani shares her full story:
>> Read in The Imprint about this hearing
>> Read Rise’s written testimony to City Council
As we begin a new school year amidst the ongoing pandemic, families are facing many challenges, including barriers to their children’s education. Equity issues continue to be exacerbated by the pandemic. You may still lack the equipment needed for remote learning or consistent available WIFI, including in shelters, or may be dealing with continuous changes to plans. Many times, information about how to join remote sessions is provided at the last minute.
Rise has joined parents and advocacy groups working to protect families from unnecessary, harmful CPS reports and investigations based on school absences during the pandemic. Together, we are working to share information with you about your rights and resources that are available to you as your child returns to school — whether remotely or partly in person — during the global coronavirus pandemic.
PLAN (Parent Legislative Action Network), led by advocate Joyce McMillan, organized a “Black Families Matter” rally on July 18 protesting ACS and family separation.
Here, Shamara Kelly and Tenisha Sanders, recent Rise & Shine graduates, share why it was important to them to attend.