Happy National Reunification Month!
National Reunification Month was created to bring attention to, recognize, and celebrate the efforts of all who work to ensure that foster youth are reunited with their families whenever possible. This is a significant achievement that emphasizes the importance of the family unit and the unique challenges faced by children in foster care who are separated from their families.
June provides an opportunity for all to reflect on the importance of creating stable and nurturing environments for children in foster care. We recognize the tireless efforts of foster care providers, social workers, foster care/resource families, parent mentors, and community organizations that work to provide foster youth with the proper resources, love, and guidance they need to thrive in their lives.
National Reunification Month also aims to raise awareness of the obstacles that families in foster care must overcome to be reunited, such as parental incarceration, substance abuse, domestic violence, and mental illness. By strengthening the support system for families in need and providing resources to help overcome these challenges, we can work towards reunifying foster youth safely with their families whenever possible.
This month is a necessary reminder to us all – community organizations, government, policymakers, and individuals – of the importance of family reunification in the foster care system. It is a testament to the triumph of love, dedication, and perseverance in restoring families, improving lives, and a punctuation of the importance of communication between birth and foster parents, ensuring a child’s wellbeing.
It is also an opportunity to illuminate organizations, institutions, and other resources that provide information and support to families whose lives have been impacted by separation on their reunification journey:
- QPI Minnesota: keeping birth families connected to child while in foster care, parent education.
- Foster Adopt Minnesota: providing support to foster, adoptive, and kinship families.
- FamilyWise: providing family strengthening supports and services.
- The FATHER Project: assisting parents to overcome barriers that prevent them from supporting their children economically and emotionally.
- Ampersand Families: creating permanency.
- Rise Magazine: written by parents who have faced the child welfare system.
- American Bar Association: believing in the resiliency and strength of families.
- State of MN – Child Protection Removals & Reunifications, Evaluation Report (06/2022).
Happy National Reunification Month to all.