The authors examine the impact evaluation of a program with the goal of reunifying foster children with their biological parents; specifically, the authors analyze the rate at which children in experimental and control groups returned home during the service period and afterwards, as well as the correlates of reunification during the treatment period and return to foster care during the follow-up period.
The purpose of this article is to describe findings from an evaluation of a program developed to reunify foster children with their biological parents. In a study with random assignment of foster children to a “routine services” control group or an experimental family reunification service, the experimental condition was found to be effective in returning children to their homes. This report focuses on the rate at which children in experimental and control groups returned home during the service period and afterwards. In addition, the authors examine the correlates of reunification during the treatment period and return to foster care during the follow-up period. The data suggest that relatively brief and intensive family-centered services can significantly affect reunification rates. The experimental service was superior to routine reunification at the close of treatment and throughout the one-year follow-up period. Consisting of building strong and motivating alliances with family members, the provision of skills training, and assistance with meeting family members' concrete needs, family reunification services appear to offer new promise to children who are placed in family foster care. Publisher Abstract Provided
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