Rights of Parents with Disabilities
Parents with disabilities, no less than other parents, have a fundamental liberty to have and raise children. Frequently, low expectations and a limited understanding of effective parenting skills or training options influence the actions taken by child welfare workers and others involved in the foster care system.
DRW has advocated for modifications to parenting plans and inclusion of parental support services with both the Division of Developmental Disabilities and the Children’s Administration.
Milestone: April 2016
Rooted in Rights, the video and social media project of DRW, released a Storytellers video titled A Mother's Day Message from Emily and Ellen Ladau. The message was, "no one with a disability should ever be made to feel guilty... for having children."
DRW has been able to work with some individual families to help them explore the options available in their provider community and has advocated with DDD to broaden its level of support so that parents with disabilities may successfully raise their children and so that those children will not lose their natural families by entering foster care system. DRW submitted an Amicus Curiae brief (redacted) in the Washington State Court of Appeals for Division III in 2008. While we were not successful in that case, we did develop a compelling argument for modifying the dependency process so that parents with disabilities with support can effectively improve their parenting skills.