At National Reunification Month events, parents reflect on the long road home.
June's National Reunification Month, organizations around the country
celebrated the perseverance and resilience of parents reunifying with
children from foster care and of the professionals who support them.
June 13, the parent attorney organization Bronx Defenders hosted a
reunification celebration, with food, face painting, performances, and
families coming together to celebrate the strength of their bonds. "What
we thought would be a little party turned out to be an incredibly
powerful moment for our clients to step back from their legal cases and
reflect on how far they've traveled for their children," wrote Caitlin
Becker, a Bronx Defenders social worker, in a reflection on the evening.
Below are the reunification stories three clients shared with Rise
on the night of the celebration. If you have pictures and stories from
reunification celebrations you would like to share, send them to email@example.com.
I have five children,
but I always struggled with my middle son's behavior. After my husband
and I separated, his behavior grew worse. When he was 10, I went to ACS
for help. We dragged along for a year but the situation didn't improve.
Then ACS removed him and my two younger children as well, claiming
failure of supervision.
grew up in foster care from 18 months until I was 21. When my daughter
was born, I promised her she'd never be in care. but when I went to the
hospital for a panic attack soon after I aged out of care, the hospital
staff thought I was neglecting her.
my older children were born, I was struggling with addiction. My son
was born premature, at 1 pound, 3 ounces. That's when they took my
children. It was so horrible I felt like I couldn't breathe.