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Reunification for children in out-of-home care - Part 3: Reunification decision-making

Community-based family services Family services Child welfare Social workers Reunification Out-of-home care Child protection
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apo-nid133771.pdf 413.18 KB

This paper is part 3 in a series on reunification for children in out-of-home care. Part 1 examined the length of time taken to reunify children with their families after entering out-of-home care. It also examined the characteristics of children who are reunified. Part 2 examined reunification success rates and the consequences of reunification failure.

Part 3 examines reunification decision making. It has been argued that this is a largely invisible area of social work practice.

In addition, very limited research has examined the effectiveness of current reunification decision-making tools and processes. Consequently there is little evidence to guide caseworkers in making these important and difficult decisions. This paper describes selected research which has documented factors which predict reunification breakdowns and considers ways in which reunification decision-making can be improved.

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