Coming into contact with The Los Angeles Department of Children & Family Services can be a traumatic experience for any family, and losing custody of a child is devastating.
The Parents in Partnership program is a committed group of Parent Partners who have first-hand knowledge of this experience, and who know how overwhelming and stressful it is for families to understand their rights and responsibilities when working with DCFS.
“My children were removed from me,” Delia looks back. “It wasn’t an easy process, but it was about taking the opportunity to learn from this experience. When we’re going through the situation, it’s disheartening. So I had to learn a new way to do things differently and to break the cycle of abuse.”
After Delia’s children were taken from her, she developed her own mission statement: to share her story. Delia doesn’t want to hold onto resentment, instead, she wants to find direction. To find a way to help her own child. In order to mend their relationship, she’s in recovery with the Parent’s in Partnership (PiP) program at DCFS.
Through PiP’s, Delia’s taken classes to find a new way to parent without physical discipline. She’s learning tools to better communicate with her children and benefit their lives.
“To be very honest, losing my children caused me to grieve at that time. I was doing my best to be strong but there were family losses in the past year, and challenges of having a parent who was mentally ill. All while doing what the court required me do. Visitation was important. Even during the time of putting myself through school to become a MA. I utilized that time without my children to stay busy and focused. There were moments, where they were better off without me. They still showed me love, even though we were separated at the time and they were in three different foster homes.”
Delia came across an opportunity for employment and has been on the fast road to recovery since. Having an open case and being able to share that experience with people in the same situation with PiPs helps families bring down that wall.
*In order to protect the anonymity and privacy of our families, names have been changed and photos are randomized.
Parent Partners have successfully navigated the system and now work in partnership with DCFS to provide support, information and mentorship to parents who have recently lost custody of their children, as well as parents whose children are not in the foster care system permanently.
These parents are trained in the areas of parents’ rights and responsibilities, grief and loss, communication, cultural awareness, child abuse reporting and family violence. DCFS Parents in Partnership (PiP) is dedicated to the parents in the communities served.
If you or someone you know is a parent with an open DCFS case, Parent Partners are here to help provide you with support and vital information. They assist parents and families with the following services:
Parent Partners are available to parents via phone to take questions and requests for support and information Monday through Friday between the hours of 8:00am and 5:00pm. Voicemails are checked and responded to daily. Find the warm line in your area.
Parent Partners and DCFS staff members co-facilitate an orientation where parents are given the information they need regarding child abuse, neglect and strategies for success. The goal is to increase parental awareness and advocacy, leading to better outcomes for families.
Recent studies suggest that parents who participate in this Parent Orientation are 30% more likely to regain custody of their children in one year or less, compared to parents who don’t participate. In one study, parents who participated in the Parent Orientation regained custody of their children, on average, seven months sooner than parents who did not participate.
Support groups are available for parents who have children currently living under DCFS supervision, in-home or out-of-home. These groups, facilitated by Parent Partners, provide parents with a supportive environment among others who are having similar experiences, and offer information about reunification, parenting and advocacy.
Family Team Meeting Support
With parents’ permission, our Parent Partners are available to advocate for the parent in Child and Family Team Meetings (CFT) by assisting parents in communicating their family’s strengths and concerns. At your request, we will support parents during CFT meetings (availability may vary).
Connecting Parents with Resources
Parent Partners provide families with information and resources to encourage parents to make full use of DCFS and community partner services.
To get connected to Parents in Partnership services, locate your Regional Office and call the number that serves your community. Parent Partners are located in the lobbies of the offices listed below to provide support and information.