Strengths-based and solution-based family reunification orientation: a collaboration with Stanislaus County

In collaboration with Stanislaus County, this project was developed as an orientation for parents who are entering the family reunification process to ensure their understanding of the process and to increase parent-agency collaboration to help increase the number of children who are successfully reunited with their families. The orientation is designed to provide information about the family reunification process and focus and empower participants through a strengths-based and encourage parents to set goals while learning skills to increase positive outcomes through a solution-focused approach. A psycho-educational approach within the orientation also provides an opportunity for parents to practice and develop skills in a group setting as opposed to receiving passive information on the family reunification process. In creating a strengths-based orientation it was decided that utilizing the Strengthening Families’ Framework, which was developed through evidence based research and suggests five protective and promotive factors that families need to be safe and healthy, would be a useful way to foster engagement and collaboration (Policy, 2015). In addition, it is also important to set the tone of the orientation so that incoming parents know what to expect so that they can be successful. A pamphlet was designed to serve as an appointment reminder; it also provides an overview of the importance of the family reunification process, a brief explanation of the five protective and promotive factors, and finally urges parents to bring a healthy and safe support person if they can.