Visitation: An Indispensable Tool for Reunification

Rise magazine shared this video from the Legal Services of New Jersey, Visitation: An Indispensable Tool for Reunification.  The video challenges what is often the normal routine of one or two visitations per week between children and the parents during a period of removal.  While the video is directly addressing the needs of children who are removed through a CHINS proceeding, the concepts are applicable to children who have been placed in a facility through a juvenile delinquency proceeding and those children with incarcerated parents.

The video mentions Dr. Marty Beyer and the visit coaching program.  She has also authored Visit Coaching: Building on Family Strengths to Meet Children’s Needs, published by the New York City Administration for Children’s Services (2004).   See also, Marty Beyer, Ph.D., Parent-Child Visits as an Opporunity for Change, The Prevention Report, National Resource Center for Family Centered Practice (1999).  For information on visit coaching with incarcerated parents, see, Marty Beyer, Randi Blumenthal-Guigui, and Tanya Krupat, Strengthening Parent-Child Relationships: Visit Coaching with Children and their Incarcerated Parents, Children of Incarcerated Parents: Developmental and Clinical Issues (Yvette R. Harris, James A. Graham & Gloria Oliver Carpenter, Eds.) Springer: New York 2010.

The Indiana Department of Child Services visitation plan documents from the Child Welfare Manual reference the importance of maintaining contact between the child and the family.  The following quote is in several of the documents:  “Parent(s), guardian, or custodian(s) and children retain the right of reasonable contact with each other, regardless of the permanency goal, unless parental rights have been terminated or the court has restricted contact.”

For delinquent children, see this previous post: DOC Changes to Family Engagement about increased visitation between incarcerated juveniles and their families as part of a program with the Performance-Based Standards Learning Institute (PbS).

This post Visitation: An Indispensable Tool for Reunification originally appeared on the Indiana Juvenile Justice blog.

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