When a catastrophe happens, when a child is forced to be removed from his or her home, the State turns to agencies like Spaulding to temporarily take care of the safety and well-being of that child. From the moment a child walks in to our care, our main goal is to reunify the child and his family. When the child is returned with his or her family, this process is called reunification.
Spaulding’s goal is to reunite children with their families. Foster care serves as a temporary placement for a child while the parent(s) addresses the issues that led to the child’s out of home care. When a child is removed from the home, Spaulding communicates to parents their rights while the child is in foster care and they also communicate with foster (resource) families about their role, responsibilities and rights.
When the birth family works closely with the foster family and the Agency, the child can feel more secure. And while they may not completely understand, children can sense when the grown-ups are working on their behalf to transition back to their birth family home.
Spaulding for Children supports the family, both birth families and foster (resource) families, to rectify any issues that have caused a child to be removed from the birth home. We also serve as a bridge between birth and foster families, helping the families develop a supportive relationship on behalf of the child.
Despite the challenges presented with virtual court hearings during COVID, Spaulding worked with another agency to reunite a mother with her two children. The process of family reunification is strengthened by community involvement. Child welfare and social service professionals encourage all members of a community, even those who are not foster parents, should learn about the needs of families with children in foster care and how one can help support the family’s reunification efforts.
When a child is successfully reunited with his or her family, everyone sees the child welfare system at its finest!
Melissa S. Jenovai, LMSW, Vice President of Child and Family Services, Spaulding for Children, served as a resource for this article.
Click here to learn more about Family Reunification.