June is Reunification Month, a time to recognize the people and efforts around the country that help families to stay together. A Four Oaks Family Connections foster family shared their reunification story for a placement they had earlier this year. The ultimate goal of foster care is to reunify children with their birth families.
“We had our first placement from January 2020 to January 2021 and we had a really positive experience. We supported the family and cheered them on through their accomplishments. As sad as it was for us to say goodbye to a kiddo who we'd cared for and loved for a year, it was such a fulfilling and exciting experience to watch them be reunited! We now see the kiddo about every other week and keep him overnight about once a month. We even joined the family for our kiddo's little brother's birthday party.
During the year we had the kiddo it could be stressful at times. We were on opposite ends of the system from the birth family, we were both trying to live our lives our way, and it was a pandemic! We parented differently, but we kept the focus on the kiddo and stayed respectful and considerate. It was hard to establish a set visitation schedule at one time, but we communicated well with the birth family and cared about each other and about making sure the kiddo had visits!
It was important that they didn't see us as the enemy and that we didn't see them as bad. We were a team with the shared goal of providing this kiddo with the best care possible. The family is now thriving and they've made leaps and bounds to better their family. It's been a pleasure to be a part of this experience, and I believe our teamwork is what has allowed us to have a positive relationship with them even after reunification!”
Thank you to all of our staff who help support our families and help keep them together!