Yudelca De la Cruz
Director, Family Resource Center
858 E. 29th St,
Brooklyn, NY 11210
Parent Advocate Program
The Parent Advocate model is designed to empower parents in the Child Welfare System, to help parents to understand their rights and responsibilities and to give parents the confidence to seek successful outcomes in Initial Child Safety Conferences. JCCA’s Parent Advocates strongly believe that every parent deserves to be heard — and that including parents’ voices is the only way to ensure the best possible outcome for their children.
Parent Advocates assist parents who are asked to attend Initial Child Safety Conferences. JCCA understands that parents caught in this stressful situation may not always know what to say or who to turn to for help. The Parent Advocate Program seeks to give parents a strong voice in these conferences by providing them with the information they need, so that more children can remain in their homes with their parents, where they belong, when it is safe to do so.
Features of the Parent Advocate Program:
- JCCA’s Parent Advocates work for and represent parents in Initial Child Safety Conferences (ICSC)
- Advocates are passionate and caring parents just like their clients and have been in similar situations in the past
- Advocates come from the community—JCCA assigns cases to advocates from similar cultural and language backgrounds
- Advocates have a comprehensive list of services close to where clients live, which can change the outcome of an Initial Child Safety Conference
- Advocates do not work for ACS
In May, JCCA talked with Jill Mullings a Parent Advocate and Outreach Coordinator for the Family Resource Center. Our conversation touched on her history with JCCA and why she was inspired to take on this role. It has been edited for clarity and length. What is...