Rise Magazine

Rise magazine is written by parents who have faced the child welfare system in their own lives. Many people don’t know that the majority of children who enter foster care return home to their parents–and that most children in care wish for a lifelong relationship with their parents, whether they live with them or not. Helping parents is fundamental to helping children in foster care.

Through personal essays and reporting, parents illuminate every aspect of the child welfare experience from parents’ perspectives. Sign up for a free individual subscription or purchase print copies to hand out to parents and child welfare staff. For professionals, Rise stories offer insight that can improve how you engage and support fragile families. For parents, Rise offers information, peer support, and hope.

Rise Magazine

The Problems with “The Tool We Have”

Throughout our 2019 series Surveillance Isn’t Safety, Rise described how over-reporting, investigations and monitoring by child protective services (CPS) harm families and weaken communities impacted by systemic racism and under-investment. Struggling families face investigations by punitive child welfare agencies with the power to take their children — but not the ability to address societal inequities at the root of so many family challenges.

Here, Kelley Fong explains her research finding that often professionals make reports to CPS to “rehabilitate” families. In most cases, the children are not in danger, but mandated reporters turn to CPS to provide resources or to pressure families to behave in ways they feel are appropriate. She also discusses research about better ways to support families without coercion and threat.

Rise Magazine

Healing-Centered Schools: A community-led approach to creating safe and healing school environments

Rise has been exploring abolition and how community-led approaches can support safe, thriving families and communities, free from child welfare involvement. Rise has also reported that when families need support, schools frequently report parents’ to the state child abuse and neglect hotline, and the harm this causes to families. Nationally, 90% of school-based calls are later deemed “unsubstantiated.”

The Bronx Healing-Centered Schools Working Group has developed a community-led model and process to shift the culture of schools in the Bronx to focus on healing. The working group collaboratively created a Community Roadmap to Bring Healing-Centered Schools to the Bronx.

Here, three members of the working group, Rasheedah Harris, Katrina Feldkamp and Nelson Mar, discuss the vision for healing-centered schools and how this approach will benefit families and keep students safe — without overreporting to CPS or policing in schools. Rasheedah Harris is a Parent Leader and leads the working group’s outreach efforts. Katrina Feldkamp is a Staff Attorney at Bronx Legal Services. Nelson Mar is Senior Staff Attorney at Bronx Legal Services.

Parenting

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

Parenting

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

Addiction

‘Your Mother Doesn’t Want You’

Negative comments left my children confused and scared.

One day when I was visiting my two youngest children, they asked me, “Mommy, where do you live?”

“Mommy lives in a hospital for now until she gets stronger,” I said. In fact, I was in a drug treatment facility, but I didn’t want my children to know. They were only 6 and 7. I thought they were too young to understand.

Called a ‘Crackhead’

Then, during an overnight visit, … Read More