The goal of reunification includes ongoing safety and stability in the family. Preventing the need for children to reenter foster care is a key goal for child welfare services. Certain child and family characteristics may be associated with an increased risk of reentry into the child welfare system, including such factors as older age of the child (i.e., teens), children with behavioral issues or disabilities, and race/ethnicity. The following resources offer examples of best practices and innovative programs that help to prevent children or youth from reentering foster care once reunification has occurred. The following resources include State and local examples.
Issues and Challenges in Aftercare Services: A Literature Review (PDF - 1,229 KB)
Honomichl, Brooks, & Hatton (2009)
Northern California Training Academy
Explores issues regarding the return from foster care for young children and the transition to independent care for older adolescents, in addition to helping child welfare professionals recognize potential risks families and youth face at the termination of foster care and strategies for counteracting these risk factors.
National Resource Center for In-Home Services
Provides information and resources about services to help sustain permanency once reunification has occurred.
Preventing Re-Entry Into the Child Welfare System: A Literature Review of Promising Practices (PDF - 663 KB)
Hatton & Brooks (2008)
Summarizes a systematic review of evidence-based and promising practices relevant to providers of children and youth in the foster care system and contending with issues related to reentry.
A Systematic Review of Strategies to Promote Successful Reunification and to Reduce Re-Entry to Care for Abused, Neglected, and Unruly Children: Final Report (PDF - 2,099 KB)
Bronson, Saunders, Holt, & Beck (2008)
Synthesizes the results of 71 empirical articles in order to determine the critical components of services before, during, and after reunification that support a family's success and reduce reentry.
Hennepin-University Partnership (HUP) Child Well-Being Re-entry to Foster Care Report (PDF - 614 KB)
Jones & LaLiberte (2010)
Discusses the findings of a comprehensive literature review on the well-being of children who re-enter the foster care system and presents an annotated bibliography and a guide to current evidence-based practices in preventing children from re-entering the foster care system.
Minnesota Child Welfare Continuous Improvement Brief Examining Child Re-Entry Into Out-of-Home Care (PDF - 1,628 KB)
Minnesota Department of Human Services (2013)
Examines the characteristics of children in Minnesota who reenter out-of-home care, the experience of reentry, and promising practices and recommendations for predicting and reducing reentry.