At that time, parents have regained placement of the child, and Social Services has deemed the home safe for the child’s return. A child will be more comfortable if they are familiar with their caregiver, and far less stressed. So, attorneys, CASAs, foster parents, and biological parents appear to give an update on the children, as well as the parents’, progress. A September 2008 report utilizing data from the Adoption and Foster Care Analysis and Reporting System (AFCARS), a federal database that collects case level information on every child placed in foster care nationwide, reported that 43% of children reunified with their birth families in Philadelphia returned to foster care within 12 months after reunification — compared to 28% in Pennsylvania and 30% nationally. The reunification process in foster care is when a foster child is in the process of being reunified with their parents. She is also a mom to numerous pets. Will the stress of parenting send them back into old habits? This often means that the preferred goal for children in foster or protective care is to return to a safe family and home environment, if possible. Low Probability — In Washington State, only 16% of children leave foster care through adoption. Although barriers and challenges exist for families rebuilding after foster care, these families can take certain measures to sup… In some cases, the court may decide to continue trying to reunify the family. Also, providing a list of potential relatives and friends who may be supportive is important. Sometimes, even after reunification, parents may be required to continue services to have their children in the home. Parents continue to receive services for reunification after the case is transferred to the adoption unit and reunification sometimes takes place from the adoption unit. 2020 Celebrations in Washington In more extreme cases, where a child’s safety is in question, there may be a court order that prevents visits until the court can be assured that visits will be safe for the child. In some cases, foster parents are able to maintain relationships after reunification. Resources available to help families during and after reunification also are included. Overview . This material may be freely reproduced and distributed. It may be hard to say goodbye. Reunification is the most preferred permanency goal for youth in foster care. The GAL represents, to the best of their ability, what they believe is in the child’s best interest. They have come to love and care for the child that they took placement of, and it can be hard to let them go back to their families. When a child is no longer part of the foster care system, and the case is closed, they have been successfully reunified. Almost half a million children are in foster care or other out-of-home placements in the United States. Talking about these things together as a family can help the transition. entered foster care.2 The court will decide if the child can safely be returned home or if efforts to reunify the child with her birth family should end. We also recommend the following Information Gateway publications: U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, Philosophy and Key Elements of Family-Centered Practice, Family-Centered Practice Across the Service Continuum, Creating a Family-Centered Agency Culture, Risk Factors That Contribute to Child Abuse and Neglect, Public Awareness & Creating Supportive Communities, Developing & Sustaining Prevention Programs, Evidence-Based Practice for Child Abuse Prevention, Screening & Assessment in Child Protection, Differential Response in Child Protective Services, Responding to Child Fatalities and Near Fatalities, Collaborative Responses to Child Abuse & Neglect, Supporting Families With Mental Health and Substance Use Disorders, Introduction to Family Support and Preservation, Resources for Managers of Family Support and Preservation Services, Transition to Adulthood and Independent Living, Recruiting and Retaining Resource Families, Working With Children, Youth, and Families in Permanency Planning, Working With Children, Youth, and Families After Permanency, Resources for Administrators and Managers About Permanency, Children's Bureau Adoption Call to Action, The Assistant Secretary's ALL-IN Foster Adoption Challenge, For Adoption Program Managers & Administrators, For Expectant Parents Considering Adoption and Birth Parents, Administering & Managing Child Welfare Agencies & Programs, Evaluating Program and Practice Effectiveness, índice de Títulos en Español (Spanish Title Index), National Foster Care & Adoption Directory, The Children's Bureau Legacy: Ensuring the Right to Childhood, Understanding Child Welfare and the Courts. It is also completely normal to struggle with parenting. When a child is placed in foster care, their parents will be given a case plan with things that they need to do in order to have the children return home. Reunifying children placed in foster care with their birth parents is a primary goal of the child welfare system. While parents are working on the reunification of a child, they will need to participate in the case plan requirements. If you are a foster parent, you know the word ‘reunification’ comes up a lot. If you have concerns about aspects of a reunification process for a child talk to your care team. However, foster families know that the first goal is reunification. Yet, relatively little is known about the reunification process. There is no guaranteed time frame for how long a child will remain in foster care. Parents are given goals to meet in a timely manner to be reunited with their children. They are responsible for gathering information from the case, the parents, and if age-appropriate, the child. In fact, this is the most common outcome. It is often vital to the reunification process for parents to know they can have assistance and support in working to reunite with their child and in completing the tasks detailed in their case plans. While it will be a relief to have their children back, it may also be scary. This could lead you back to the poor decisions and harmful choices that brought Social Services into the picture in the first place. Adoption.org is a service of the Gladney Center for Adoption, a licensed adoption agency. When children are in foster care, they typically have regular, supervised visits with their parents. Being involved with the foster care system can give your family support and a chance to be stronger than before. Kinship care is not always possible, however, and that is why there is a need for licensed foster homes. 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