This 2-day child welfare training focuses specifically on reuniting children and youth in foster care with their birth families when that option is in the best interest of the children and youth. The training builds on the Casey Family Services’ Lifelong Families training and its Replication Manual training, with emphasis on the specific skill areas essential to best practice standards and quality reunification practice: assessment, service planning and intervention. The training manual includes a 2-day agenda, assignments, handouts, recommended readings, session plans and follow-up materials to teach these vital skills.
The majority of children and youth who enter foster care do so because of neglect.
Findings & Stats
Out of Home Placements
In 2011, 47% of kids in a foster family home were placed with a non-relative.
52% of foster kids were reunited with family or their primary care giver in 2010
63% of Casey Family Services alums reported contact with their birth mothers following their exit from foster care.
Casey Model Works
In sum, children in the Casey Family Reunification Program fare better than their counterparts in achieving permanence in both the comparison group and among children in out-of-home care nationwide.
Statements & Quotations
The Casey programs reduced the number of placements experienced by children and reduced the time to permanency outcomes. Casey concluded that these favorable results were due to the best practice approaches used in the reunification programs.
The families served faced many personal and societal issues that compromised their ability to provide a safe and nurturing environment for their families. The complexity of their problems required a multifaceted response grounded in best practice.
Decisions to return children home are complex. They are influenced by feelings and by definitions of what constitutes “good enough parenting.”
As a field, we know that we need to provide clear information about expectations from beginning to end, what needs to change, how well they are doing. None of the expectations should be a surprise.
Over and over again, even when children could not be safely returned to a birth parent’s care those same birth parents were able to engage in thoughtful and loving planning and decision making on behalf of their child.
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