Parents with mental illness are far more likely than other parents to lose their children to foster care. Children with mental illness or behavioral problems also are more likely to enter foster care, either to receive intensive services or because of family stress. Fear and shame can keep parents from reaching out for help. Effective services can also be very hard to find. Stories here explore parents’ experiences finding support for themselves and their children.
Q: How can therapy help families reconnect?
A: When I started to come to the Center for Family Life in Sunset Park, a preventive services agency, my main objective was to get help talking to my son’s father.
Since I was a child I had dreamed about meeting a good man who wanted to share my dreams to marry and form my own family. Unfortunately, I met the father of my child and a little while later … Read More
Jacqueline Israel, a former parent advocate whose children spent six years in foster care, explains how to make the most of your visits:
1. Bring Toys and Games
When you visit at the agency, the room just isn’t a home environment. Bring games, coloring books, toys, crayons, and books to read to your child. You can even play soft music and bring a visiting blanket to play on the floor. If you’re not sure what the … Read More
People say there are no real men with real fatherly love for their children, or that a father can’t have the same bond with his kid that a mother has. When I hear people saying that, I tell them this story about my son and me, and the best and worst days of my life.
The best day of my life was when I was 21 years old and I found out that … Read More
It was homework time in my house one evening last fall. I called my son into the living room. He stormed in demanding popcorn. I told him, “No, not until you do your homework.” Why did I say that? He began screaming that he hated me. He had started telling me he hated me every time things didn’t go his way.
For months, homework had been a daily conflict. This time, I … Read More