National Reunification Month 2020
June is National Reunification Month. The main goal of foster care is reunification. Based on the national median, 69.2% of children are reunified with their biological families within 12 months of entering the system. This is often overlooked by those outside of the foster care community. What an amazing fact, that most children and families in foster care reunite!
So as foster parents, what are some ways you can help foster children reunify?
Despite what some may believe, biological parents are not villains. Foster parents are not villains. Everyone needs support regardless of what side of the foster care paradigm they fall into. One way foster parents can help with the reunification process is to make the communication process easier. Allow children to call their biological parents in-between visits. Keep the biological parents in the loop of milestones, share photos via text or email. If children in care see their foster parent’s kindness and openness, it will help everyone involved.
Use Neutral Language
Whatever caused the biological parents to need help with taking care of their children should not impact the way they are treated. Using neutral language about biological parents is important. We all struggle and it is important for the relationship of the children with both parent-sets to not hear bad-mouthing. The hardest part for children in care is how much they love their parents in spite of the uncertainty.
Be Open To More
Together We Rise is so lucky, we have interviewed hundreds of families about their adoption and foster care stories. One of the most positive parts of fostering we hear are families who invite the biological families into their lives. These wonderful foster parents open their hearts to children and their families. They understand that parents who are in the foster care system need support too.
In conclusion, reunification is the goal of foster care. During National Reunification month it is important to remember that we should always lead our lives with kindness. Everyone, especially parents (both biological and foster) deserve to be treated well.
For more stories about fostering, check out our blogs here.