Family Reunification Program
The Family Reunification Program offers four to a maximum of six months of services aimed at working with families in which one or more children have been placed in foster care. In order for a family to be an appropriate referral a plan must exists for the child(ren) to be reunified with the parent within 30 days of the referral to Family Reunification. The worker teams are available to the families 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The staff provides a therapeutic/skill-based intervention regimen to all family members.
- Family Reunification Program (FRP) is a core service to MDHHS in 26 of 83 counties.
- All FRP services are contracted with private providers. The private agency providers are awarded contracts for a three-year contract cycle.
- In 2009, 863 families were served by the program.
- Historically (1999 - 2010), more than 9,500 families representing over 18,000 children have been served.
- University Associates did an independent evaluation study of this model which resulted in a highly effective rate of children remaining reunified with their families and preventing further foster care or out of home placements.
- Effectiveness of the program with reunifying families is what led to the Department of Human Services (MDHHS), Child and Family Services Administration to adapt this program model to serve families statewide.
- Family Reunification staff adheres to the same 21-course training curriculum as their Families First of Michigan counterparts. They attend a five-day Core Training series, as well as, special topic training ranging from working with substance-affected families and cultural self-awareness to solution focused intervention and cognitive-behavioral strategies.
- Due to the prevalence of domestic violence and the effects on children and families, all FRP staff attends mandatory three-day domestic violence training and completes a routine inquiry assessment for domestic violence with every family.
The services provided by the contracted private agency teams is evaluated by MDHHS on the basis of the following criteria:
- Seventy percent (70%) of the families served shall successfully complete four months of the service.
- Seventy-five percent (75%) of the families served shall not have any Category I, II or III preponderance of evidence Children's Protective Services findings for a 12-month period following placement of the children into the family home.
- Seventy percent (70%) of the families served shall not have a child(ren) removed from the family home and placed in an out-of-home placement for a 12-month period following placement into the family home.
- Eighty-five percent (85%) of the families exiting services shall express satisfaction with the services received.
For more information regarding family preservation and support programming, contact your county's Department of Health and Human Services office, or contact the Child Welfare Bureau at (517) 335-3704.