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Reunification Month

Did you know that when a child is removed from a home, the case goal is (always) reunification with that parent. Children do best when they can be reunified with their parents.

My story: Brandon was barely 5 years old when his father, Corey, was arrested for domestic violence with a then girlfriend, not Brandon's biological mother. The girlfriend and Corey were frequently intoxicated and fought when intoxicated.

Brandon was lucky he had grandparents in the area who were willing to be a kinship foster care placement. His biological mother lived in another state and was unable to parent him.

As the Court Appointed Special Advocate (CASA) on Brandon's case, he and I went to the park, chased lizards and enjoyed Happy Meals. He was happy, and enjoyed his loving grandparents, but missed his Dad. He constantly referred to his Dad, the dogs at home and his lizards. He wanted to be home. I observed Brandon and his Dad together, it was a loving relationship, truly Corey was Brandon's rock.

Corey, got a wake up call with the arrest. He realized that Brandon was the most important thing in his life. Over the next 9 months Corey started classes for substance abuse avoidance, parenting, and anger management. Initially, he was fired from a job due to the charges against him. He later got another (better) job and got full legal custody of Brandon from the boy's biological mother.

During visitations Brandon and his dad would feed the lizards, play with the dogs and enjoy one another's company. The day they were officially reunified was a happy day for all. Corey made Brandon his number one priority.

Reunification. Kids in Foster Care often come from unimaginable settings, but those parents are their rocks, their everything, their normal. It is traumatic for children to be pulled from the home. In Brandon's case, it was the middle of the night, after domestic violence in the home and police arresting his father. The Arizona Department of Child Services (DCS) and CASAs work to decrease the trauma and return the kid to a better normal with the parent, the rock they know and love. Kids want to be with their parents.

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