Reunification of children with their families is best done with the involvement of children's parents and other family members. Working closely with the children's parents embodies family-centered practice and can facilitate the return home more quickly than if parents are not engaged. Resources include State and local examples.
Co-Parenting: The Key to Reunification (PDF - 1,002 KB)
Foster Care Review, Inc.
The Reviewer, 2010
Explores the benefits of foster care co-parenting to speed permanency and protect the child's development, addresses barriers to collaboration, and recommends strategies for working with foster parents and birth parents.
Crossing Bridges and Fostering Change: Foster Parents Speak
New York State Citizens' Coalition for Children (2008)
Foster parents discuss their role in promoting family reunification for the children in their care. Topics include strategies for developing relationships with birth parents, visitation, and transitions from foster care to reunification.
Engaging Parents as a Path to Reunification: Surfacing Values and Dismantling Assumptions
Cortese, Krupat, & Richter
ABA Child Law Practice, 24(6), 2005
Questions child welfare practitioners should consider to acknowledge and dismantle assumptions that may be undermining their ability to treat each family as unique and engage parents in reunification efforts.
Review of Parent Education Models for Family Reunification Programs (PDF - 369 KB)
Cutler Institute, Muskie School of Public Service (2010)
Presents a matrix of parent education models used in family reunification programs that includes a model description and information on target audience, targets of intervention, level of research evidence, child welfare outcomes, required training and fidelity monitoring, and program cost.
Birth Parents and the Reunification Process: A Study of the Mendocino County Model (PDF - 208 KB)
Center for Social Services Research (2004)
In Mendocino County, California, all families whose children have been removed are referred by the court to a local family center, where they are offered weekly groups, parenting classes, and visitation services. The findings of this study suggest that the Family Center service model holds promise as a supportive intervention for birth parents.
Partnering With Parents: Promising Approaches to Improve Reunification Outcomes for Children in Foster Care
Anthony, Berrick, Cohen, & Wilder (2009)
View Abstract and Document
Describes a program in Contra Costa County, California, that trains parents who have experienced child removal, services, and reunification to provide direct services to parent clients seeking reunification with their children. The report identifies program components and summarizes evaluation outcomes.
Prince George's Families Need Additional Services to Reunify: Family Teams Can Overcome Parental Resistance to Required Services (PDF - 1,751 KB)
Maryland Advocates for Children and Youth (2010)
Addresses the need to improve reunification services by involving parents in the selection of services and providing family support teams to ensure services are received.