Lifting Families Together – June is National Reunification Month!
If we know one thing it is this, children belong with families.
National Reunification Month is celebrated in June of each year to recognize the people and efforts around the country that help families stay together. It is also a time to celebrate the families who have overcome obstacles to providing a safe and loving home for their children, and are able to reunify after their child was placed in the child welfare system.
“As a system, foster care was not created to be the permanent solution for a child,” says Diane Greene, Director of Quality and Training for Embrace Families. “We want parents to improve. We want them to be with their children. The quicker we can get children home safely to their families, the better off they will be.”
Contrary to popular belief, the primary reason children enter the foster care system is not due to an egregious case of abuse. Most often, the child’s parents are struggling with substance abuse or in a situation involving domestic violence.
“It’s not that they don’t have a loving parent, it’s that there are issues in the home that need to be dealt with,” Diane explains. “It’s never anyone’s intent to neglect their children or leave the child in an unsafe situation.”
What we have seen over and over again is that, given the right circumstances and supports, parents can make the necessary changes in their lives to become a positive influence for their children. While it can be easy to condemn parents for making choices that result in the removal of their children, it is much more important to be empathetic and offer encouragement to make the necessary changes. At Embrace Families, our goal is to be more than a child welfare system; we must be a support system for those who need skills, resources and a hand up to help them become the parent they want to be and their children need.
Throughout the month of June, Embrace Families, along with our partners at the Florida Coalition for Children, are celebrating the over 6,700 Florida children who were reunified with their families during the past year.