Parents’ legal rights in child welfare proceedings vary from state to state, and even in different cities. Work with your lawyer or a parent advocate to learn more about your rights. Rise’s interviews with lawyers offer guidance on your rights and responsibilities.
Since 2010, the Chautauqua County Family Court in upstate New York has worked to become a “trauma-informed court.” Here, Judge Judith Claire and Aimee Neri, a licensed social worker who is the New York State Child Welfare Court Improvement Project Liaison to the 8th Judicial District, describe how they’ve brought awareness of trauma into the court and how it’s helping families:
Q: How did you decide to focus on trauma in your court?
Neri: We know that … Read More
Many of us who grew up in foster care feel like the child welfare system is just waiting for us to mess up, and according to the American Bar Association’s Center for Children and the Law, 77% of lawyers who responded to a recent survey said they believe that mothers in foster care are separated from their children for less serious allegations than other mothers.
Here, Jessica Weidmann, a lawyer at the Center for Family Representation … Read More
Illustration by Tamika Ono-Knight
Under federal law, parents typically have only 15 months to prove that they can safely reunify with their children. For parents struggling with addiction, that’s a short time to break the cycle of relapse and recovery. Yet research shows that children in foster care do better when they have parents or other biological family members in their lives. Here, LaShanda Taylor, associate professor of law at the University of the … Read More
From Rights to Reality is designed to unite parents and parent advocacy around a common set of goals. It identifies 15 rights for parents affected by the child welfare system. Most parents do not yet have these rights in child welfare proceedings. From Rights to Reality represents a commitment to working in our communities and nationwide to make these rights a reality.
Each right is illustrated by parents’ stories—stories that show how families can be strengthened … Read More
Art by Patricia Battles
Erika Palmer, a staff attorney at Advocates for Children in New York City, explains parents’ rights to stay involved in their children’s education while their children are in foster care. Advocates for Children’s special project on foster care guides parents and child welfare agencies on educational decision-making for children in care.
1. Keep in Contact With the School
Parents should know that, even if you can’t have unsupervised contact with your children … Read More