Innovation in Action:
Family Defense Teams
At CFR, we sincerely believe that every family matters.
Regardless of their circumstances, every family deserves the chance to raise their children safely and without unnecessary government intrusion. And all parents no matter their income level, have the right to expect meaningful and equal justice, should they find themselves accused in a court of law. Too often, poor families find that their children enter foster care under unjust circumstances or in situations where children could have stayed at home, with supportive services in place. No child should have to leave family, school, and friends unless absolutely necessary, and children who spend extended time in foster care tend to fare poorly—with higher rates of homelessness, unemployment, incarceration and mental health issues as adults.
CFR was founded to significantly change the paradigm of parent representation in child protective cases in New York. Pursuant to two contracts with the city of New York, CFR has been the county-wide institutional provider in Manhattan since 2007 and Queens since 2011. By combining in-court litigation with out-of-court social work referrals and case-management, individualized service planning, and parent mentoring, CFR dramatically improve outcomes for our families.
Our family defense teams include:
An attorney to litigate any and all proceedings in family court and ensure that the city honors its legal obligations to families;
A social worker to help families access stabilizing services, such as housing, mental health services, healthcare, drug treatment, or domestic violence counseling; and
A parent advocate, trained professionals with first-hand experience losing children to foster care then reuniting with their families, who uses their unique position as peers who overcame similar challenges to mentor our families and provide emotional support.