Two of the workers from the reunification program came to the house today. They explained the whole program to us and how it works. They say the program has been in use in Michigan for a number of years and has about a 90% success rate there. Unfortunately, here it has only been in use for a couple of years and they have more like a 30% rate. The team leader is optimistic about this family though. They spent a number of hours with them on Monday, and met the two older boys yesterday, Today was their day to meet us and our foster daughter. There are two more brothers to meet.
We were very happy to hear that they were interested in our concerns and listened closely to what we had to say. They are also in agreement with how she needs to be brought back into the family with her 4 brothers and hopefully all five will be back with the parents within 4-6 months. We are certainly hopeful.
The pamphlet they left had a couple of sentences in it that I think have to be remembered by everyone involved in foster care and family reunification:
"Children have a right to their family"
"It is in the best interest of the child for his or her family to remain intact in the absence of compelling evidence to the contrary"
and the one I really like...
"Families are diverse and have a right to be respected for the special cultural, racial, ethnic, and religious traditions that make families distinct."
We are certainly hopeful that this will work. It is the last chance for this family to remain as such but ..........God, we will miss her