About the Toolkit Collaboration

The parent advocacy movement seeks to build the power of parents who have been impacted by the child welfare system to advocate for change, support other families going through through the system, raise up solutions that exist outside the system and improve children’s lives. Members of IPAN, as well as parent advocates and allies in other programs, identified a need for resources that parents impacted by the child welfare system and allies can use in this movement work. In response, IPAN was funded by UBS-Optimus and Oak foundations to create this toolkit in partnership with Rise.

The toolkit was authored and developed by Rachel Blustain of IPAN and Tracy Serdjenian of Rise, with guidance, support and collaboration from the IPAN Parent Review Committee, David Tobis of IPAN and parent advocates and allies around the world.



The International Parent Advocacy Network (IPAN) works to increase the power and influence of parents in child welfare decision making by supporting organizations and activities that promote parent advocacy and the leadership and self determination of parents in child welfare. IPAN’s work helps ensure that children’s, parents’ and families’ needs are met and that their rights are protected.


Led by parents impacted by the child welfare system, Rise believes that parents have the answers for their families and communities. Our mission is to support parents’ leadership to dismantle the current child welfare system, eliminate cycles of harm, surveillance and punishment and create communities that invest in families and offer collective care, healing and support.


Parent review committee:

Many thanks to the parent reviewers who guided this project.

  • Bobbi Robertson, Family Inclusion Network Townsville, Australia (IPAN Board)
  • Taliah Drayak, Parent Advocacy and Rights, Scotland (IPAN Board)
  • Shantelle Common, Family Inclusion Strategies in the Hunter, Australia
  • Tony Lawlor, Family Justice Resource Center, United States (IPAN Board)
  • Heather Cantamessa, Re-unify Family Solutions, United States (IPAN Board)
  • Mary Burton, Fearless R2W, Canada (IPAN Board)
  • Keyna Franklin, Rise, United States

Allies and contributors:

Thank you to the allies who reviewed the toolkit, to the IPAN Board of Directors and to all individuals and organizations that developed resources included in the toolkit.



Future development of the toolkit:

Thus far, the toolkit primarily features English-language resources from countries with child welfare systems rooted in mandated reporting of suspicions of child abuse and neglect, investigations and family separation. We hope to provide resources from additional countries, reflective of and useful to parent advocacy in a wider range of contexts, in the future. We are still exploring plans for continued updates and expansion of the toolkit and welcome suggestions and input about what would be most useful.

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