100767: When Family Reunification Works

Data-Mining Foster Care Records

About the Course:

Concurrent permanency planning policy mandates heighten the need to evaluate effective family reunification practices. This retrospective practice-based study examines positive family reunification outcomes at a New York City foster care agency. It uses a qualitative clinical data-mining methodology and the Professional Review Action Group case review model to conduct an intensive examination of 18 families’ case records. Families were mandated into care for neglect, domestic violence, or substance abuse. This paper identifies family characteristics and strength-based casework practices that emerge during examination of the foster care reunification process. The family characteristics examined include (a) family attachment bonds, (b) separation anxiety, (c) reunification ambivalence, and (d) intergenerational family patterns. In addition, 3 casework practices emerge: (a) the worker’s active support of resiliency in family attachment; (b) the worker’s attention to the resolution of placement separation anxiety and family reunification ambivalence, and© the worker’s attention to intergenerational family patterns. Practice implications for refinement of foster care best practices are discussed. COURSE SYLLABUS I. Evaluation of Family Reunification Practice II. Research Method and Design III. Findings A) Family Profiles B) The Exploration Stage C) The Assessment Stage D) The Intervention Stage E) The Termination Stage IV. Discussion and Limitations V. Practice Implications VI. Conclusion


Antonia E. Cordera, DSW, MSW, ACSW

About the Author:

Assistant Professor University of Connecticut

Recommended For:

This course is recommended for social workers, counselors, psychologists, and other human services and behavioral health professionals who seek knowledge about foster care and reunification. It is appropriate for participants with all levels of knowledge about the topic.

Course Objectives:

  1. describe potential implications for foster care practices.

  2. identify casework practices associated with positive family reunification.

  3. identify family characteristics associated with positive family reunification.

Exam Questions

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