Michigan Family Reunification Program

About This Program

Target Population: Families with children ages 0-17 being reunified from foster care or relative placement

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 17

Program Overview

The program is designed to assist in an early return to a permanent family for children in out-of-home foster care placement. In addition, it is designed to reduce repeat placement through a planned process of reunifying children in out-of-home care with their families using a variety of services. It is also designed to provide support in achieving and maintaining permanency in the family home.

Program Goals

The goals of the Michigan Family Reunification Program are:

  • Successful completion of four months of the services
  • No Category I, II, or III preponderance of evidence Protective Services involvement for a 12-month period following replacement of the child(ren) in the family home
  • No removal of child(ren) from the family home and placed in out-of-home care for a 12-month period following replacement in the family home
  • Expressed satisfaction with the services received

Essential Components

The essential components of Michigan Family Reunification Program include:

  • The team leader provides clinical, in-home counseling, and works in conjunction with a family worker who addresses the non-clinical needs of the family (budgeting, parenting, case management, etc)
  • Twelve families are served per team at one time. Each team serves 24-36 families per year.
  • The program is available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Specific Assistance funds are used to meet family needs.
  • Direct therapeutic, supportive, and concrete services are used.
  • Thorough assessments measuring on-going strengths, needs, safety, and risk are performed.
  • The Initial Service Plan includes goals, action plans, progress reports.
  • Respite care for children is available for up to five days.
  • Included in this model are a parent education component, quarterly parent workshops, and quarterly family activities.
  • Referrals to the program may be made up to 30 days prior to the reunification.

Program Delivery

Parent/Caregiver Services

Michigan Family Reunification Program directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:

  • Corporal punishment, neglect, inappropriate developmental expectations, trust and safety issues.

Recommended Intensity:

An average of 4 hours of face-to-face contact per week. This weekly contact is conducted in single or multiple contacts depending on the needs of the family. The number of hours is higher, 8 or more, during the two weeks following reunification of the child(ren).

Recommended Duration:

4-6 months Average of 4 hours per week during this intervention, with 8 or more hours per week during the first two weeks following reunification.

Delivery Setting

This program is typically conducted in a(n):

  • Birth Family Home

Homework

This program does not include a homework component.

Resources Needed to Run Program

The typical resources for implementing the program are:

  • The family home and/or community

Special events, such as workshops, group family activities, and the parent education component may be held within a provider agency's building, but we recommend they be within the community.

Education and Training

Prerequisite/Minimum Provider Qualifications

  • Team leader – Master's degree in human services, preferably social worker
  • Worker – Bachelor's degree in human services
  • Supervisor – Bachelor's degree in human services

Education and Training Resources

There is a manual that describes how to implement this program , and there is training available for this program.

Training Contact:
Training is obtained:

Informal Consultation.

Number of days/hours:

Informal, no set number of days or hours.

Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research

This program has been reviewed and it was determined that this program lacks the type of published, peer-reviewed research that meets the CEBC criteria for a scientific rating of 1 – 5. Therefore, the program has been given the classification of "NR - Not able to be Rated." It was reviewed because it was identified by the topic expert as a program being used in the field, or it is being marketed and/or used in California with children receiving services from child welfare or related systems and their parents/caregivers. Some programs that are not rated may have published, peer-reviewed research that does not meet the above stated criteria or may have eligible studies that have not yet been published in the peer-reviewed literature. For more information on the "NR - Not able to be Rated" classification, please see the Scientific Rating Scale.

Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Michigan Family Reunification Program.

Additional References

Family reunification contracts put new life into home-based family counseling in Michigan (2001, Fall). Practice: Ideas For and From Practitioners. Onondaga, MI:Michigan Home Based Family Services Association.

Skillman Foundation (1999). Evaluation of the Family Reunification Program: Results of the family reunification and foster care comparison study (Final Report). Skillman Foundation: Detroit, MI.

Contact Information

Guy Thompson
Agency/Affiliation: MI Dept. of Human Services
Department: CPS and Family Preservation Programs
Email:
Phone: (517) 331-5136

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: February 2015

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: May 2014

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: July 2006