Foster System

We center parents in advocating for policies and laws that strengthen families and end the harmful removal of children from their homes.

Supporting families means supporting parents and children. We work to elevate the concerns and welfare of parents and families who have historically been sidelined in the foster system.

Support Our Work


Join the Shriver Center, along with parent leaders, for a webinar series that spotlights the foster system.

Our Insights

For Black lives to matter, Black families must matter. Black mothers must matter.

In this pandemic, parents should be able to hold their children close in these trying times.

Our Impact

The Suspend the Timeline Not Parental Rights During a Public Health Crisis Act will prevent parents from losing their parental rights permanently.

Each day children and parents continue to be apart exacerbates existing harms.

We are calling on the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services to be vigilant in prioritizing reunification of parents with their children.

In-person visits for parents of children in foster care have been suspended for weeks


Oct 2020

Black communities, communities of color, and those living in poverty are overrepresented in many systems, including the foster system.

Sep 2020

We must end systemic inequities and prioritize policies that keep families together.

Sep 2020

This resource list aims to provide materials related to what is traditionally referred to as the child welfare system.

Jun 2020

Since March, children of over 11,200 parents have been subjected to a Department of Children and Family Services policy banning supervised visits.

Jun 2020

Shriver Center advocates share updates on their COVID-19 response work and impact.

Mar 2020

Links to information and useful resources to aid communities seeking support during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Attorneys and Specialists

Patrice James
Patrice James
Patrice James
Director of Community Justice


Tanya Gassenheimer
Tanya Gassenheimer
Tanya Gassenheimer
Staff Attorney


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