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
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.
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
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.
Michigan Family Reunification Program directly provides services to parents/caregivers and addresses the following:
- Corporal punishment, neglect, inappropriate developmental expectations, trust and safety issues.
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).
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.
This program is typically conducted in a(n):
- Birth Family Home
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.
- Chris Durocher
Training is obtained:
Number of days/hours:
Informal, no set number of days or hours.
Relevant Published, Peer-Reviewed Research
Currently, there are no published, peer-reviewed research studies for Michigan Family Reunification Program.
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.
- Guy Thompson
- Agency/Affiliation: MI Dept. of Human Services
- Department: CPS and Family Preservation Programs
- Email: thompsong@Michigan.gov
- 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