When children are placed in foster care, parents often feel overwhelmed, afraid, ashamed, angry and confused. Stories by other parents who have reunited with their children can help you navigate the child welfare system. Even if your goal is to fight the allegations in court, it’s usually a good idea to immediately enroll in services that the court is requiring, such as parenting classes or treatment. Stories here show how to work with your lawyer, caseworker and parent advocate; take the lead in planning support services; and stay connected with your children while they are in foster care.
Interview with Sherry Tomlinson, a parent leader in Columbus, Kansas
For more than 15 years, Sherry Tomlinson worked in the child welfare system. Then she lost her son to it. Today, she runs a recovery and jail ministry in Columbus, Kansas; works alongside an attorney representing parents in family court; and is an active member of the Birth Parent National Network, a national coalition of parents affected by the child welfare system.
As a parent helping … Read More
Interview with Toni Miner, Family Support Partner
When the child welfare system first came into Toni Miner’s life, she felt shamed and blamed and not supported. For many years, Miner hid her problems—and that led child welfare to come back into her life.
Today, as a family support partner in Jefferson County, Colorado, and a member of the Birth Parent National Network, Miner believes it’s still too hard for parents to be open about their struggles, but … Read More
Feeling powerless can make you feel angry. Angry is how I felt the whole three years my son was in foster care—and how I acted.
Finally, a worker took me aside and was straight with me. She told me that the way I was acting made the agency think I was the kind of person who would solve any problem with violence, and that made them think that it was not safe for me to have … Read More
This story is part of Rise’s series by frontline staff at foster care agencies about their experiences working with parents.
I had been working as a case planner for about a month when I met Mr. G.
Before he walked into my office, other workers and even my supervisor told me that this father was difficult.
I’d also read up on the case and saw that in three prior court hearings he’d lashed out against the worker and his … Read More
When child protective services took my son Logan, I thought my life was over. Logan was 9 months old. I didn’t know anything about the foster care system.
After an emergency hearing, I got visits with him twice each week for one hour. I spent two years visiting him without missing any of those visits. But I didn’t leave Logan’s father, who the agency considered a threat.
When I learned that the agency had moved my case “upstairs” … Read More