My son was in several daycare centers starting when he was 6 weeks old. I checked them all out carefully and, in all of them, my son was almost always happy when I picked him up. I felt secure. My worries started when I moved him to a daycare that was close to our home. From the beginning, I was alarmed when I’d come to pick up my son. The kids were screaming and running around. Then my son started telling me daily about different kids hitting him.
There came a time when there’d been four incidents in seven days! I felt hopeless and angry. I thought of a time when a foster parent had told me that I wasn’t allowed to sit on the couch because it was only for their children, not foster children. I felt like I always felt as a child in the system: that no one cared. I felt like no one was there to support me or my child. But I also wanted to grow from being that foster child to a successful parenting adult. So that night I decided to email the director.
Many parents at Rise have described how their child’s school denied their child testing for educational disabilities or supports to help a child learn in school, even when the child was clearly struggling. Then, when problems escalated, the schools called child protection.
There are organizations and people who can help parents get the help they need, when they need it. In NYC, Advocates for Children provides advice and legal aid to ensure that low-income families have access to quality education for their children. Promise Project helps low-income families properly evaluate their children for learning disabilities and get the services they need.
We spoke with Maggie Moroff, special education policy coordinator at Advocates for Children; Lillian Murphy, senior project manager at Promise Project; and Lorenzo Torres, supervising education coordinator at Promise Project to find out about children’s rights and the IEP process.
Art by Patricia Battles
Erika Palmer, a staff attorney at Advocates for Children in New York City, explains parents’ rights to stay involved in their children’s education while their children are in foster care. Advocates for Children’s special project on foster care guides parents and child welfare agencies on educational decision-making for children in care.
1. Keep in Contact With the School
Parents should know that, even if you can’t have unsupervised contact with your children … Read More