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How to support the reunification process

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What is reunification?

The process of reunification in foster care refers to when children are reunited with their biological families. Your foster team will spend time working towards reunification, if it is in the best interest of the child in care, by working on a parent-child reunification plan. This process is very important because children are most likely to thrive in the long term if they have a stable home. 

Despite this, it should be acknowledged that reunification can be hard as you often create a bond with the child you have fostered and, in some circumstances, you may feel that it is in the young person’s best interest for them to stay with you. However, in most instances, reunification is the main goal – which comes with ensuring that your foster child has a smooth transition as possible. This will be beneficial for their mental and emotional wellbeing in the long term. 

How to support reunification?

  • Building a relationship with the child’s foster family, if possible: this is one of the best ways in which reunification can be facilitated. You can build a good relationship by keeping the parents updated with their child’s progress, sharing photos of the child or showing artwork their child has done. These seemingly small aspects are fundamental for building a good relationship, and can make reunification easier for the parents as well as the child.
  • Sharing your insight: after spending so much time with your foster placement, you may learn new things about their daily routine, or most recent interests that their guardians may not know about. To help make the reunification process easier, it’s a good idea to share what you’ve learnt with the fostering team or, if possible, the foster family. By sharing aspects of your parenting style which works, you will make the living at home transition easier.
  • Say positive things about your foster child’s family: this is a simple thing you can do to ensure your foster child has a positive attitude towards reunification. Avoid speaking negatively in any regard, just in case you accidentally influence your child’s opinion.
  • Be cooperative: to best support the reunification process, ensure that you are on hand to offer advice, and attend sessions with the fostering team. If you have anxieties about the child’s biological family, it is important that you air them in a professional manner to the fostering team, and not to the child.

Support for the reunification process 

There is no doubt that reunification is sometimes a hard process for the foster parent as well as the child. However, here at Excel Fostering, we are here to support the reunification process, every step of the way. Our team is always on hand to support you, and you will not be alone in this process. It is important to note that you have been an integral part of your foster child’s life, and your role is significant in helping them reunify with their biological family. Some children may choose to keep in contact with their foster parents later on in life, which is beneficial for building a good support network around a young person.

If you are considering becoming a foster carer, do not hesitate to get in touch with our team. Alternatively, for more advice on fostering, be sure to read our helpful blog.

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