Updates

Rise reports on the child welfare system with a goal of highlighting efforts to improve policies and practice and spotlighting effective practices.

Rise Parents’ Platform Updates: Reflections on Our First Year of Organizing

As Rise moves into our second year of organizing, we are reflecting on our successes and developing plans for next steps in advocating for our Parents’ Platform. This year, we joined the efforts of a variety of organizations that have been leading the movement for affordable and accessible child care and equitable pay for child care providers. Rise brought the perspective of parents impacted by ACS into the movement for universal child care, recognizing lack of child care as a family policing issue and a driver of “neglect” allegations. We are excited about all we accomplished together in community during this program year.

Torn apart by adoption

I was fighting tears at the last court date before I was taken off the case.

Ms. M, my client, stood and stated that she had neglected her child. The judged asked if she understood what was happening. With a smile, Ms. M said, “Yes.” But I felt quite sure she didn’t.

I think Ms. M believed that making the admission meant she was not going to lose her parental rights. But for over two years, Ms. … Read More

When Stress Is Toxic – Bringing the science of child development into child welfare

BY JEANETTE VEGA with Dominique Arrington and Sharkkarah Harrison

When children are removed from home, parents feel a level of grief and stress that can hardly be explained. Then they often face more stress, with things like losing a job because of mandated services, losing housing and juggling multiple services.

When our bodies feel too much pressure and threat, stress can put us in an “act now, think later” mentality that makes it even harder to … Read More

Training Workers to Partner with Parents – NYC’s new Workforce Institute focuses on listening and coaching

As a parent, dealing with child welfare workers can be an emotional, unpredictable experience. Some workers judge you and others try to tell you what to do before they even know you.

Personally, I found it hard to be open when the worker investigating me was trying to poke holes in all my answers to her questions. I was lucky that I got past the investigation and that my preventive worker was totally different and … Read More

Transparency and Trust – As a case planner, I know I have power over parents’ lives—and I try to share it.

When a foster care agency first receives a case, the agency is required to make contact with the family within 72 hours. During the first contacts, case planners are expected to establish a positive connection with parents. But making that connection can be a challenge when case planners also represent the system that has taken parents’ children.

When I first meet with a parent, they are often at the lowest point in their lives. Most were … Read More