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.
Here, parent advocate and CEO of Re-Unify Family Solutions, Heather Cantamessa describes her own long journey to be valued for her work, and to be compensated accordingly. Her story is featured in the Building a Parent Advocacy Organization section of the Toolkit for Transformation.
Scotland’s Parent Advocacy and Rights organization (PAR) began in 2016 as an alliance between parents impacted by the child welfare system and independent social workers created to provide individual advocacy to parents, raise awareness of the debilitating stigma of child welfare involvement and advocate for more just, less punitive policies to address family issues related to poverty, mental health and domestic violence.
Jaquie Mayne and Debbie Henderson, Community Development Officer and Executive Officer of The Family Inclusion Network of Western Australia, reflect on the broad range of emotional supports FIN WA offers to its family partners to address the impact of past trauma and current work challenges.
The International Parent Advocacy Network (IPAN) partnered with Rise to develop the Toolkit for Transformation. Here, we highlight information and resources from the Support Groups for Impacted Parents section of the toolkit.
The Washington State Parent Ally Committee (WPAC) brings parent advocates from across Washington together to share the pressing issues they see on the ground and then to work toward passage of legislative change.
As the parent lead of WPAC for many years, Alise Morrisey understood that collaboration was key to the passage of many important pieces of legislation, including a bill about background checks that made it easier to place children with relatives; a bill that funded parent advocacy statewide; and a bill that gave incarcerated parents more time to reunify with their children.
Morrisey still believes in the power of legislative advocacy, but today, she says, she would like to see parent advocates push for more fundamental change to support families outside the child welfare system.