In Minnesota this year, parents and their allies began protesting what they say are routine violations of families’ rights as well as bias that leads to the overrepresentation of black and Native American families in the child welfare system. In Minnesota, a black child is 3 to 5 times more likely to be in foster care than a white child, and a Native American child is 17 times more likely to be in foster care, according to … Read More
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.
Joyce McMillan is a child welfare affected parent and the coordinator of We Are Parents Too at Sinergia NY, an organization that supports and advocates for people with disabilities and their families. The former program director of the Child Welfare Organizing Project (CWOP) in NYC, McMillan explains why she believes the only way to really protect families is through community action and legislation.
Q: How did you become a parent advocate and what roles have you … Read More
Thank you for your attention to the issue of family separation in New York City family court. Although many people across our city and country have been moved by seeing how it affects children and families to be separated at the border, the separations that happen every day because of child welfare are seen differently. These families are seen as deserving separation, even though in many cases, families do not need to be separated—or … Read More
Interview with Dustin McClard
When child protective services entered Dustin McClard’s life in 2014, he was using and selling drugs, and facing the possibility of prison. His twins were removed shortly after birth and remained in foster care for three months while he went to treatment.
Now McClard works as a peer mentor at a family service agency in Portland, Oregon. He spoke to Rise about how his mentor, Tim, helped him get sober and … Read More
BY KEYNA FRANKLIN and JEANETTE VEGA
For decades, parents in the child welfare system have felt powerless, demonized, silenced and alone. Things have begun to change in places where parents have united to use their shared experience to support one another and work for change.
Today, according to the Birth Parent National Network, there are organizations of child welfare-affected parents in California, Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Iowa, Ohio, Oregon, New York, New Jersey, Minnesota and Washington.
In … Read More