Supporting and maintaining family connections are essential to health and well-being for children. Everyone working within the child welfare system has a part in safely reunifying families and obtaining positive permanency as soon as possible. June is National Reunification Month, a time to highlight resources available to child welfare professionals to inspire commitment, creativity, and focus to achieve reunification.
The June 2023 issue of The Children’s Bureau Express (CBX) highlights reunification efforts nationally and the importance of supporting families as they work toward reunification goals.
The Child Welfare Information Gateway’s reunification resource page contains materials to help professionals engage parents, assess readiness, and support reunification when dealing with specific barriers such as substance abuse, incarceration, and domestic violence. Fact sheets for relative caregivers and foster parents are also available.
The Gateway’s podcast series includes four episodes that highlight how to support family reunification such as finding “A Path to Reunification,” developing “Birth-Foster Parent Mentoring Teams,” and achieving “Reunification.”
The American Bar Association’s National Reunification Month webpage highlights stories from parents and youth, offers practical advice for judges, provides tips for breaking down barriers between parents and foster parents, and showcases “reunification heroes” working to keep families together. Tools include webinars on Parent Experiences in Reunification and What Child Welfare Agencies Can Do to Support Reunification as well as a social media tool kit to help promote awareness of reunification month.
The Children’s Commission’s Parent Resource Guide is a handbook designed specifically for parents to help them understand the Texas child welfare system and the path towards reunification.
The Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS) maintains Parent Collaboration Groups that support parents on the path to reunification and function as a link between parents and the agency to provide a unique perspective on how to improve services to families and children. A list of local Parent Collaboration Groups can be found on the DFPS website. Reunified parents who wish to volunteer with a group can contact their regional CPS liaison for more information.