Posts Tagged: Schools

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.

As the 2020 School Year Begins, Know Your Rights and Get Involved

As we begin a new school year amidst the ongoing pandemic, families are facing many challenges, including barriers to their children’s education. Equity issues continue to be exacerbated by the pandemic. You may still lack the equipment needed for remote learning or consistent available WIFI, including in shelters, or may be dealing with continuous changes to plans. Many times, information about how to join remote sessions is provided at the last minute.

Rise has joined parents and advocacy groups working to protect families from unnecessary, harmful CPS reports and investigations based on school absences during the pandemic. Together, we are working to share information with you about your rights and resources that are available to you as your child returns to school — whether remotely or partly in person — during the global coronavirus pandemic.

Promoting the Positive: The importance of supporting positive childhood experiences and healing in families, schools and communities

Research links adverse childhood experiences, known as ACEs, such as abuse, neglect or experiencing or witnessing violence, to health and well-being challenges in adulthood. But in her research, Dr. Christina Bethell, director of the Child and Adolescent Health Measurement Initiative at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, found that many people who experienced ACEs also had positive experiences as children that made a difference in adulthood.

Here, Dr. Bethell discusses the importance of focusing on positive and healing experiences for individuals, families and communities. She explains how to establish family routines that promote well-being even when families are under stress and how parents can set the agenda to get help their families may need.

Reports are Down Overall, But Schools are Making False and Malicious Educational Neglect Reports

Due to COVID-19, children currently are not physically attending school or programs staffed by mandated reporters of suspected child abuse and neglect. Reports to child protective services have decreased significantly. Some quickly jumped to the conclusion that abuse and neglect may be going undetected and unreported.

However, parents and advocates provide another perspective and explain that the drop in calls is not necessarily the problem the media assumes. In fact, 90% of school personnel hotline calls turn out not be abuse or neglect.

Rise Recommendations to Address Schools’ Over-Reporting to Child Protective Services

The Rise series Surveillance Isn’t Safety began with a focus on schools because NYC schools call in 26% of NYC reports to the state child abuse and neglect hotline. Parents have described the harm caused to their families when schools did not support them, but then reported them. 

Here, Rise highlights steps that the Department of Education (DOE) and individual schools, as well as our city and state child welfare agencies, ACS and OFCS, and others can take to better support families and reduce unnecessary reports.