Posts Tagged: Reunification

2020 Reunification Month Video

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 Reunification Month, Let’s Commit to Parents’ Priorities for Reuniting Families

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.

A Day to Remember: ‘I wanted them to know I missed them with all my heart.’

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.

How Holistic Legal Representation Supports Reunification

As part of our Fighting for Our Rights series and in recognition of National Reunification Month, Rise is exploring how parent legal representation can support reunification.

Here, Rise talks with Marty Guggenheim, professor of clinical law at NYU Law School, co-director of NYU Law School’s Family Defense Clinic and co-author of the study “Effects of an interdisciplinary approach to parental representation in child welfare.” His research proves that interdisciplinary legal representation—an approach where a legal team includes a lawyer, parent advocate and social worker—helps families safely reunify more quickly. His research also shows that many children do not need to be in foster care at all.

Breaking Down Barriers — Once I trusted my caseworker, I was able to make progress

I met my caseworker Gloria when I went to rehab after I got the case. The first time we met, she explained how she could help me get my kids back if I put forth the effort. It was hard to believe her because she worked for the same people who took the ones I loved. But she let me know that my children belonged with me, that she believed in me and that I … Read More