Presentation on theme: "Research Finding One: A service that is able to engage parents and children early in their entry in to the child-protection system in an assessment of."— Presentation transcript:
Research Finding One: A service that is able to engage parents and children early in their entry in to the child-protection system in an assessment of viability for restoration, and the restoration plan itself. Clare (2002) states that the consideration of restoration in a timely manner harnesses the motivation of the parent, minimises hurt to the child and reduces the chance of the child losing their place in the family system Fifty percent of parents referred to FNP have been separated from their child/ren for 12 months or more Importance of advocacy through Out of Home Care programs Importance of responding to parent/’s grief and anger What does the Research say promotes successful reunification?
Research Finding Two: A service able to provide a comprehensive and holistic assessment which focuses on all aspects of family functioning including both strengths and concerns. Clarity around the purpose of assessment Psychodynamic component of assessment Empirically tested scale – North Carolina Family Assessment Scale for Reunification (FCFAS-R) Main indicators predicting viability of restoration are: - Motivation to be reunified with their child/ren. - Acknowledgement of reasons for initial removal - Motivation to work toward change - Ability to work with the agency - Capacity to meet practical minimal requirements for good enough parenting within a reasonable time-frame What does the Research say promotes successful reunification?
Research Finding Three: A service that works in partnership with parents, children, extended family and other services in a collaborative and respectful manner Acknowledging and harnessing the client’s skills, strengths & experience Inclusion and participation of children and other significant family members Challenges and strategies to meet goals The FNP contract – “rules of engagement” What does the Research say promotes successful reunification?
Research Finding Four: A service that places high priority to maintaining the parent-child relationship during the child’s time in placement, through contact and is able to utilise this time to work on parent-child bonding and attachment and parenting skills Contact is one of the key predictive factors of children successfully returning home (Frame et al, 2000) Contact – “the heart” of family reunification Improves quality of attachment, parent/child relationships, motivation and hope for the child Provides opportunity for learning Contact should be creative, encourage parental involvement and validate the parental role What does the Research say promotes successful reunification?
Research Finding Five: A service that concentrates on the physical, intellectual and emotional aspects of a parent’s ability to provide adequate care for children over time Involves a large investment of time Counselling and discussion around: - grief and loss - parent/child history circumstances surrounding removal - upcoming challenges - needs of the child - parenting skills Task focussed component - establishing goals for the week - strategies What does the Research say promotes successful reunification?
Research Finding Six: A service able to offer intensive, family centred assistance with much work being carried out in the family’s home Hours spent in the parents home – a key predictor of the success (Barber & Gilbertson, 2001) As months in Out of Home Care increase, the likelihood of restoration decreases (Ainsworth 2001) FNP would ideally involve a restoration phase of months, but can be longer because of very complex nature of cases Mental health and/or drug & alcohol issues = a longer and more intensive restoration phase (Risley-Curtis et al, 2004, Carlson et al, 2006) 83% of FNP cases have involved mental health and/or drug & alcohol issues What does the Research say promotes successful reunification?
So what is this level of intensity like for Caseworkers and Clients? Stakes are very high for parents, children and workers alike Caseworkers invest a huge proportion of their professional life into just one family Client/Caseworker dynamics - beginning of the program = mutual excitement and motivation between client & caseworker - middle of the program = things getting more difficult (client may feel angry, caseworker may feel exhausted) - transition phase = client and caseworker have re-established motivation to meet goals required for transition.
How Successful is the Family Network Program? 66% of families were successfully reunified during their time in FNP The remaining 34% entered either relative or foster care because their parents were unable to successfully meet the goals required for “good enough parenting” Many of the parents who are not ultimately reunified with their children feel more resolved about the decision as a result of becoming more stated they feel aware of exactly what is involved in good enough parenting through their time in FNP Success or failure should not be based on child returning home or not
Future Challenges for FNP? Achieve more effective ways of monitoring all of the different benefits of a program such as FNP for children and families Establish systems to conduct more meaningful program evaluations in years to come Evaluation of North Carolina Assessment Tool
References: Ainsworth, F. (2001) Family Preservation, family reunification and related issues: Recent news. Children Australia, 26(4), Barber, J. & Gilbertson, R. (2001), Foster Care: The State of the Art, Australian Centre for Community Services Research, Adelaide. Carlson, B.E., Smith, C.A., and Eversman, M. (2006) A Pilot Study of Reunification Following Drug Abuse Treatment: Recovering the Mother Role. Journal of Drug Issues, 36(4), pp Clare, B. (2002). Family Reunification: Rhetoric and Risks. Children Australia, Vol. 27, No. 3. Frame, L., Berrick, J.D. and Brodowski, M.L. (2000). Understanding re-entry to out-of-home care for reunified infants. Child Welfare, 79, (4), George, R.M. (1995). The Reunification Process in Substitute Care. Social Services Review, vol. 64(3), p 422. Risley-Curtiss, C., Stromwall, L.K., Truett-Hunt, D., and Teska, J. (2004) Identifying and Reducing Barriers to Reunification for Seriously Mentally Ill Parents Involved in Child Welfare Cases. Families in Society: The Journal of Contemporary Social Services, vol 85(1).
Contact information: Family Network Program Children & Youth Services, Centacare Catholic Community Services 8 Jacobs Street, Bankstown NSW 2200 Tel: (02) Fax: (02) Program Manager: Rachel Dillon FNP Caseworker: Melissa Cox
Permanency Planning Assessment Restoration Phase Transition Post-transition Support Termination of FNP Permanent placement for child Viable Not viable