LA County Proclaims September 10 – 14 “Family Reunification Week”
Three years ago, Michael Nash, Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles Juvenile Court, with the support of the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors, initiated the first ever “Family Reunification Week.”
The annual celebration recognizes the thousands of families that have complied with specific court requirements and safely reunited with their children.
There are three components to this year’s celebration: On Tuesday, September 11th, six family reunification “Heroes” were honored (a group of parents, social workers, and organizations that have done an exemplary job) for supporting the safe return of children to their homes and families and presented with a special scroll presentation by Chairman Yaroslavsky’s Children’s Deputy Lisa Mandel at the Hall of Administration.
The most emotional part of the program was undoubtedly hree families sharing their personal stories on how they reunited with their children. Parents in Partnership, a DCFS program that utilizes parents who have successfully navigated the Dependency Court system to reunify with their children and are now coaching other families on how to do the same, will discuss their successful program.
Later today, the media is invited to attend a press conference at Juvenile Court where reporters can witness a unique event, similar in format to National Adoption Day, as court officially terminates the cases of eight families whose parents have successfully reunified with their children. These eight families represent over 3,000 families that reunify with their children each year.
The system actually accomplishes that more often than not. Of the 25,000 plus children under our court’s jurisdiction today, almost 15,000 are either being safely maintained at home or are in a reunification plan with their families.
But here’s the rub: Would you be able to hand off a beloved foster care child back to biological parents who may have, at one time, neglected or abused their own children?
Not sure I could be that strong… Comment here.