June is National Reunification Month and a time to reflect on family strengths that lead to successful reunifications.
Here at Clark County CASA we have close to 130 volunteers that are involved in reunifying children with their families every day. According to the Children’s Bureau with the Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the majority of children exiting foster care are reunited with their families. These families are an inspiration because they have overcome difficulties and are equipped with tools to address future changes.
We know children do best when they can safely remain with their parents or with other family members. That’s why Clark County CASA volunteers commit to strengthening families in their ability to care for and protect their children. According to the National CASA/GAL Association for Children 2019 Annual Local Program Survey Report, 41 percent of the cases closed resulted in children returning to their parent(s) or primary caretakers, including 5,000 children reported as remaining with parents or caregivers throughout the case.
One of our guiding principles that recognizes the importance of family preservation and/or reunification states:
- It is in a child’s best interest to remain with their family of origin whenever safely possible;
- The program acknowledges that children experience trauma when separated from their family of origin; and
- If a child is removed from their family of origin, it is in the child’s best interest to be reunified with their family of origin as soon as safely possible.