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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 151429 Find in a Library
Title: Family Reunification: Research Findings, Issues, and Directions
Journal: Journal of the Child Welfare League of America  Volume:73  Issue:5  Dated:special issue (September/October 1994)  Pages:489-504
Author(s): A N Maluccio; E Fein; I P Davis
Date Published: 1994
Page Count: 16
Type: Research (Applied/Empirical)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: Reuniting children in out-of-home care with their families has long been a primary goal of public and private child welfare services and more recently a component of the Adoption Assistance and Child Welfare Act of 1980, and research plays a role in strengthening family reunification services.
Abstract: Family reunification refers to the physical reunion of children with their biological families after they have been in family foster or group care settings. Research studies of family reunification indicate a wide range of reunification rates (13 to 70 percent) and foster care re-entry rates (10 to 33 percent). Reunified families must cope with many challenges, such as single-parent households, children who exhibit multiple behavioral problems, and difficulties associated with previous out-of-home placements. Because empirical knowledge about family reunification is still relatively limited, further research is recommended to explore issues in child and family development, child welfare service delivery, and training for child welfare service workers. Research priorities include establishing a national child welfare database; studying interactions among poverty, drug abuse, violence, and child abuse and neglect; conducting longitudinal studies of children in the child welfare system; examining family reunification as an expression of different levels of reconnectedness between child and family; evaluating the service delivery process and its impact on children and families; understanding child and family functioning after reunification; and identifying factors in the child, family, service delivery system, and environment that distinguish successful from unsuccessful reunification. 54 references and 1 figure
Main Term(s): Juvenile victims
Index Term(s): Child abuse prevention; Child abuse situation remedies; Child victims; Child welfare; Family intervention programs; Family reunification; Foster homes; Juvenile dependency and neglect
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