June’s National Reunification Month celebrates the perseverance of parents reunifying with children from foster care — and the professionals who support them.
Below are interviews with four parents who recently reunified with their children or are on their way. They were represented by lawyers, social workers and parent advocates at Brooklyn Defender Services — legal teams they said they cried with and shared their joy with, too.
Photos are courtesy of the Self Portrait Project, a citywide initiative … Read More
As a parent advocate, I used to advise parents in my support group about the reality of what they would face once their children returned home from foster care. I’d tell them that kids often act out, or don’t seem happy to be home. I’d tell them to try to stay calm and to think about their family’s needs and how to address them. I would tell parents, “I was you, I understand.”
DREAM COME TRUE
My … Read More
Five days before Christmas 2015, my two kids came home from foster care on trial discharge.
I was so ready for them to come back to me.
It was the first Christmas we’d spent together in two years, so it was special to us. I was lucky enough to have money to buy them gifts and make a nice dinner like we used to do every Christmas.
I wanted my kids to feel like we were a family … Read More
I had always thought I was a good mother even though I used drugs. I gave my daughter, Barbie, food, clothes and a home. I gave her love, too, by holding her and kissing her and playing with her. I would look in amazement at how beautiful she was growing.
But even though all this was true, part of me was kidding myself. When I used drugs, the chemicals altered my mood. I wouldn’t … Read More