Lifelong Families Reunification Case Study


Posted January 1, 2012
By the Annie E. Casey Foundation
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AECF Lifelong Families Case Study Reunification Rudy Cover1


Rudy is the oldest of three children who came into foster care in the state of Michigan as a result of physical abuse, neglect and abandonment at home. After their mother received treatment for substance abuse, Rudy’s younger brothers returned home, but his mother was not able to meet Rudy’s special emotional and behavioral needs and he remained in foster care.

Rudy remained in care for six years with multiple moves and a failed kinship care placement until he was referred to Casey Family Services and was placed into a successful foster home.

This case study explores Rudy’s experience, and how Casey Family Services was able to reach a solution using the Lifelong Families approach.  Rudy's case study also reinforces the values, principle components and benefits of the model. The Lifelong Families model is intended to serve as a method of improving foster care practice within private child welfare agencies and advancing permanency outcomes for older youth with high levels of need.

Key Takeaway

The importance of a "permanency team"

Through the relationship development strategies of the “Permanency Team,” Rudy was eventually reunified with his mother with the support of his foster family, who said they would be willing to adopt him should things not be successful. Through planning and support from social workers, the reunification was successful.