Family Reunification of Youth in Foster Care with Complex Mental Health Needs: Barriers and Recommendations
This study presents findings of a formative evaluation of an innovative pilot program designed to reunify and reintegrate foster youth with complex mental and behavioral needs in residential treatment centers or therapeutic foster care with their families in the community. Data collection methods included in-depth structured case file reviews and semi-structured interviews with the youth, as well as their caregivers, Child Protective Services caseworkers, and pilot program staff. The participants provided important insights regarding system, program, and case-level barriers to the successful reunification of these youth back into the community. Training, practice, and policy recommendations are discussed.
KeywordsChild welfare Reunification Permanency Foster care Residential treatment
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