The world of child welfare is a challenging one. In order to ensure long-term stability, a worker must be committed, caring, and flexible. It is important to look at each case individually, to remember that they are not just cases but children and families who have been separated. Workers must ensure they are providing all available resources to facilitate successful reintegration, but that they are also teaching independence and lifelong skills. Children and families need ways to cope with their past and present trauma along with methods to healthily deal with future traumas. The ultimate goal is to send a child home into a healthy and stable household so that they will not return to foster care. Achieving this goal requires close observation, hard work, and endless patience by all parties involved.
Key Take Away Points
- Nearly 400,000 children were in foster care in 2012 in the United States.
- More children are coming into and staying in custody than are exiting custody.
- Almost all children and their parents have experienced some sort of trauma, aside from the trauma of the child being removed from their home.
- The average amount of time a child will remain in foster care is nearly 2 years.
- The biological parents are usually in a constant state of crisis and need extensive support to successfully reintegrate their children.
- Ensuring long-term success of reintegration is the case team’s main goal.
Whitney Davidson holds a Bachelor's Degree in Leadership Studies from Texas A&M University, with focuses in Psychology and Sociology. Whitney has a background in working with individuals with disabilities, teaching, and working in child welfare in Kansas. Whitney has previously worked for Saint Francis Community Services, a child welfare agency contracted by the Department of Children and Families. Whitney currently works for the Boys & Girls Club of Manhattan, KS.
"Reintegration Work: Parental Support in Foster Care,"
Journal of Applied Research on Children: Informing Policy for Children at Risk:
1, Article 24.
Available at: http://digitalcommons.library.tmc.edu/childrenatrisk/vol5/iss1/24