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. For professionals, Rise stories offer insight that can improve how you engage and support families. For parents, Rise offers information, peer support, and hope.
This webpage offers a list of organizations that provide support and resources that we hope can be useful to our community around healing, accountability, self- and community care and safety. We also provide resources that can support our continued collective learning around the intersection of family policing and domestic violence and intimate partner violence.
At Rise, the vast majority of parents impacted by the family policing system are Black and brown women who are survivors of domestic violence (DV), intimate partner violence (IPV) and/or sexual violence. Every year, many—if not most—parents in our Rise & Shine Parent Leadership Program write about and/or discuss experiences of domestic violence, sexual abuse and/or intimate partner violence in connection to their experience with the family policing system, a more accurate term than “child welfare” system. Our intention in sharing stories in our programs and in this publication series is to hold space for each other and to honor each person’s story and what it means to them to share it. Often, parents choose to write or talk about these painful experiences and to build our advocacy skills out of a desire to support other people going through similar experiences—and to further our healing, reclaim our stories and push for meaningful societal and policy changes to prevent harm and support families.
My biggest fear has always been ACS taking my kids. I have embodied trauma from when I was a child—the system broke me and my siblings apart and took us away from our mom. I wasn’t going to allow that to happen to my two kids.
As a parent, I had my share of ACS cases when I was experiencing domestic violence, but because of my childhood experiences, I don’t believe ACS could have helped. ACS actually made things worse for me because caseworkers weren’t sensitive about my needs and didn’t understand the domestic violence (DV) situation I was in.
Rise has changed and grown a lot over time. We started as a magazine and now have many different programs—the Rise & Shine Parent Leadership Program, Peer and Community Care Network, Parent Advocate Training Program, Organizing for our Parents’ Platform and our Communications Program.
We’ve always had writing and public speaking programs, which are now part of the Communications Program—and our work has changed, too.
As Rise moves into our second year of organizing, we are reflecting on our successes and developing plans for next steps in advocating for our Parents’ Platform. This year, we joined the efforts of a variety of organizations that have been leading the movement for affordable and accessible child care and equitable pay for child care providers. Rise brought the perspective of parents impacted by ACS into the movement for universal child care, recognizing lack of child care as a family policing issue and a driver of “neglect” allegations. We are excited about all we accomplished together in community during this program year.