Posts Tagged: Reunification

Portraits of Reunification

June’s National Reunification Month celebrates the perseverance of parents reunifying with children from foster care — and the professionals who support them.

Below are interviews with four parents who recently reunified with their children or are on their way. They were represented by lawyers, social workers and parent advocates at Brooklyn Defender Services — legal teams they said they cried with and shared their joy with, too.

Photos are courtesy of the Self Portrait Project, a citywide initiative … Read More

How I reclaimed my son after reunification

As a parent advocate, I used to advise parents in my support group about the reality of what they would face once their children returned home from foster care. I’d tell them that kids often act out, or don’t seem happy to be home. I’d tell them to try to stay calm and to think about their family’s needs and how to address them. I would tell parents, “I was you, I understand.”

DREAM COME TRUE

My … Read More

Influencing Adoption

I froze. My head was pounding and I felt like that should have been my last day working in child welfare. I just wanted to go home and lock myself in my room.

I was in Bronx Family Court, being yelled at because a parent on my caseload had missed a visit, even though up until that point, she had always made all her visits.

“What happened? Why didn’t this visit happen?” the judge asked, over and … Read More

Home for the Holidays: One mother’s reunification story

Five days before Christmas 2015, my two kids came home from foster care on trial discharge.

I was so ready for them to come back to me.

It was the first Christmas we’d spent together in two years, so it was special to us. I was lucky enough to have money to buy them gifts and make a nice dinner like we used to do every Christmas.

I wanted my kids to feel like we were a family … Read More

4 facts about post-adoption contact

Almost three years ago, I signed a “conditional surrender,” giving up parental rights of my oldest child, who was eventually adopted. The agreement stated that I would continue to be able to visit my daughter. The adoptive parent broke the agreement and I have not seen my daughter in almost three years. Now I regret not fighting to keep my two children together.

Here, Margaret Burt, an attorney with 37 years of experience in child welfare … Read More