In honor of National Reunification Month, Lindsay Reilly, a parent impacted by the family policing system, discusses her experiences with peer support both during her ACS case and since she reunified with her two youngest children last year. She also shares her message to parents working to reunify their families. Lindsay will graduate from the Rise & Shine Parent Leadership Program in June.
Posts Tagged: Reunification
In honor of National Reunification Month, Jeanette Vega, assistant director at Rise, discusses how Rise supports reunification of families separated by the foster system, explains how this work connects to our goal of abolition and highlights Rise resources by and for parents impacted by the system. She also shares a message to parents working to reunify with their children.
Happy Reunification Month to all the families who have reunified! You did it! Congratulations!
This 2020 Reunification Month video was developed collaboratively by the ACS Workforce Institute, NYC Parent Advocates Council and Rise leaders. It is for child welfare-impacted parents, by parents who have had similar experiences.
This June, we are celebrating Reunification Month against the backdrop of COVID-19. Many in-person visits have been suspended, services have shuttered and courts remain closed, creating additional barriers to reunification.
It always requires extraordinary stamina, resilience and hope for parents to believe that the system that separated their family will allow them to reunite. This year, parents face higher stress and uncertainty, losses and pain.
Now it’s even more important to replace the current dynamics of child welfare interventions—threat, coercion, punishment, and lack of privacy and self-determination—with approaches that strengthen parents’ power.
My children came home a week before Easter, but when they walked in it was Easter for them. I had new toys, clothing and an Easter basket waiting for them. Even though they knew that I loved them, I wanted them to know that I missed them with all my heart. I took them out to eat, play and to the movies. We played games, danced around the house and watched TV. I cooked some food because they missed my home cooking.
It was so unreal to hear all of them call me mom at one time. I had been waiting for that for a whole year and three months. The kids stayed up half the night, excited because we all were home together in one house.
When they went to sleep I checked on them the whole night. I didn’t think it was real that they were home. After they went to bed, I sat in my room and cried because my children were back with me. I didn’t think this day would come true. I had worked so hard to get them back home.