Parenting

All parents face confusion and stress raising children. When parents or children face significant challenges like poverty, mental health issues, addiction, family violence, foster care placement, or histories of trauma, it can be even harder to know how to build a safe and loving family life. Stories here explore how parents have overcome challenges to build strong families.

‘On My Own’: I had to rebuild with my son without support.

in 2007 when I was 20 years old and he was one and a half. I had run away from foster care and had nowhere to live and no money for food. I was also dealing with depression and trauma—and an abusive partner. I didn’t have support from my family and felt uncared for and alone. 

The family friend lived in a cozy, nice home. She suggested that I leave my son with her and write a statement saying that he would live with her family temporarily, just until I got situated and had my own place. 

I did not want to be without him, but I wasn’t able to provide a home or food. A ball formed in my throat and I wanted to break down and cry, but I agreed to it. If I had access to food, housing, mental health care and emotional support, I would not have made that decision. I didn’t know that my son would end up living there for 10 years. 

Home Visits

Two foster mothers helped my daughter and me build a bond.

I grew up in foster care, and I know that not all foster parents care about the children. But my daughter had two foster mothers who helped me stay connected to her.

For the first year my daughter was in care, I didn’t see her because I was locked up. During my first visit with my daughter, I felt like a father again. Her eyes … Read More

Forever Family

My daughter’s foster family is still apart of our lives.

When I began visiting my daughter, she was 3 and I had not seen her for 2 1⁄2 years. I was locked up because of my addiction to crack cocaine.

At first, Ebony couldn’t stand my living guts. She was afraid of me and was really not nice. She wouldn’t talk to me, she’d scream when I got near her. She’d sit under the desk for … Read More

Child Support

Early Intervention Services can help your baby grow.

As babies grow, they develop new abilities to move, speak and relate emotionally. At each age, there are “developmental milestones”—typical behaviors or abilities that you’ll want to watch for in your children. For example, at 3 months old, babies should be able to make fists with both hands, lift their head and chest, and turn their head toward sounds, bright colors and light.

If your child isn’t meeting … Read More

A Hug Every Day

I always knew my father wasn’t much of a family man. He was in and out of prison. He would show up and then disappear for two or three years.

After I went into foster care at the age of 10, I wondered,“Why didn’t he want any part of me?” I wanted him to help me answer questions like, “Can I make it in life?” and, “What is my purpose?”

Kids at Risk

I’m not alone in missing … Read More