Foster Care Reunification Failures

Foster Care Reunification FailuresDon’t Lose Sight of the Goal


When children are placed in foster care, also called foster placement, the goal is to reunification, in most cases. But when case plans aren’t successful, or parents aren’t given the services and support they need, reunification failures can occur. A reunification failure is when reunification isn’t successful, and the child is put back in foster placement. When DCPP (New Jersey’s CPS agency) makes an oversight or otherwise incorrectly assesses the parent’s ability to reunify, reunification failures can be heartbreaking. Even so, there are steps you can take to prevent reunification failures and help ensure reunification success.


Formulating Your Plan


First, it helps to ensure your case plan is reasonable and will be effective in helping you address the issues DCPP identified. This isn’t necessarily a given. Make sure you have a New Jersey child welfare defense attorney assist you in case planning with DCPP to increase your chance of success and reduce the risk the court will have to become involved. If you need certain services, ask for them. If you need more time, discuss it with your case manager. In most cases, DCPP will not commence termination of parental rights proceedings until your child has been in foster placement for 15 of the last 22 months. If caseworkers are threatening they may take that action sooner, you need an attorney.


Second, understand that you may need some extra support when you reunify. Often, reunification therapy can help parent and child repair bonds, which ultimately increases your chance of success. Reunification failures are more likely if your parent-child bond is damaged. Also, reach out to friends or family who may be able to help you after reunification. Don’t hesitate to ask for more help if you need it. If you fear that will delay reunification, make sure you have an attorney argue against it.


Take Time to Adjust


Third, know that it could take some time for your parent-child relationship to return to normal. Immediately after reunification is a trying time for many parents, and this is when they struggle most. Consequently, DCPP remains closely involved during this time and may remove a child again if safety is a concern. But don’t let this difficult transition compromise your chance of a successful reunification. You deserve time to adjust, during which you may need extra help. It’s important to have an attorney on your side during this time, in particular, to ensure you are given all the support and tolerance you need, and your child’s best interests are protected, as multiple removals can be extremely traumatic to children.

Do you need the help of a New Jersey child abuse defense attorney? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help you protect your rights and those of your child. Located in Short Hills, New Jersey, Williams Law Group, LLC provides compassionate and dedicated legal services to Union, Bergen, Essex, Hudson, Morris, Monmouth, and Middlesex counties, and the surrounding areas. Our knowledgeable attorneys handle divorce and family law, child custody, and child abuse/neglect cases. Call our office at (908) 810-1083, email us at, or contact us through our confidential online form to schedule a consultation and ultimately get connected with an experienced New Jersey divorce and child custody attorney.

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