Posts Tagged: Parent Advocacy

Peer Support

One of the biggest challenges for parents affected by child welfare involvement is planning. When you are in crisis, your mind can’t focus on planning. That can make it even harder to keep track of the many mandates, appointments, visits and court dates that come with foster care.

Here are some suggestions from parents about how to make the service planning process more manageable.


Ask as many questions as it takes to understand the status of your … Read More

Partners in Planning — When parents and caseworkers work together, families move in the right direction

Toni Miner and Sherry Tomlinson, parent advocates in Jefferson County, Colorado and Columbus, Kansas, discuss how parents can work effectively with their caseworkers to get the services they want and need.

Q: What can parents do if their worker isn’t helping them find services?

Miner: Workers are supposed to help parents gain whatever resources they need—not necessarily call all the programs, but at least get families going in the right direction. It’s also a worker’s responsibility to … Read More

Power to the Parent — A NYC program puts service planning in the hands of parents and provides peer support

Parents fighting to reunite with their kids often feel like they have no say in their family’s service planning and are given services without being asked what they need. Many also feel alone in the process.

Several child protective agencies across the nation have responded by implementing family conferencing and parent advocate programs.

Michael Arsham, director of The Office of Advocacy for NYC’s Administration for Children’s Services, spoke to Rise about NYC’s Enhanced Family Conferencing Initiative (EFCI), … Read More

Using Our Experiences to Make a Difference – Organizing for system change in New York City.

One night on my way home I saw a blue flyer with three questions that caught my eye. 1) Are your children in foster care? 2) Do you have a child welfare case? 3) Do you want to help change the system?

At the time, my children had just been taken into foster care. I felt angry, like the system had kidnapped my children for its financial gain. The system offered me no … Read More

Parents as Partners – Workers and families learn from each other in 15 cities nationwide.


For the past 18 months, social worker Randy Jenkins and parent advocate Sandra Jimenez have been training birth parents to become advocates and supports for parents at child welfare agencies in 15 cities nationwide. Here, Jenkins explains how their work begins with conversations to help agency staff and birth parents learn from each other:

The Annie E. Casey Foundation is interested in changing the way the child welfare system engages with parents. When the … Read More