Document Type

Master's Culminating Experience

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The purpose of this paper is to evaluate and review current best practices with regard to parent-student reunification procedures following crises in schools. No national recommendations for school crisis planning exist, resulting in varying degrees of completeness in school planning. Parent-student reunification is one of the most frequently ignored or under-developed aspects of school emergency planning, yet a poorly developed reunification plan has the potential to become an enormous source of chaos in the aftermath of school crisis. Expedient reunification reduces the potential for lasting trauma to both children and their parents. A best practices review of existing literature was conducted to evaluate the current recommendations for reunification procedures in school crisis plans. In addition, West Central Ohio school district emergency plans were submitted for analysis. Numerous recommendations were made in the literature, from the structure and function of reunification sites to suggested ancillary documentation to assist in the reunification process. As suggested in the literature, the actual school plans analyzed varied in the topics addressed and the degree to which reunification procedures are planned. It is recommended that steps be taken in the future to standardize reunification planning on a state or national level, thus ensuring that children are returned to their parents/guardians expediently following a school crisis.

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