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June 2023Vol. 24, No. 5A New Training Focusing on Family-Centered Reunification

A new online training from the National Quality Improvement Center on Family-Centered Reunification, led by the Innovations Institute at the University of Connecticut School of Social Work, focuses on family-centered approaches for working with families toward reunification. "Family-Centered Reunification Training" aims to help child welfare agencies infuse family-centered practices and strategies in their reunification work to achieve more timely reunifications that better address families’ needs and improve their capacity to safely care for their children.

The principles of family-centered reunification, like those of family-centered practice, highlight the importance of engaging families and ensuring their active involvement throughout the process, encouraging their strengths, focusing on their mental health and well-being, and recognizing and honoring their cultures and backgrounds. Strategies can include connecting families to evidence-based community services, focusing first on placement with relatives to preserve cultural and family connections, offering parent education opportunities, and ensuring regular visits between family members and with agency workers.

The training will help participants gain an understanding of the following:

  • Principles of family-centered reunification
  • Best practices for engaging with parents and families
  • Best practices for engaging fathers
  • Best practices for promoting family-centered reunification
  • How to engage holistically with families from various cultural backgrounds

The Innovations Institute offers participants continuing education credits for the 60-minute "Family-Centered Reunification Training" through the University of Connecticut School of Social Work. Participants can also access the training without earning continuing education credits.