Successful Family Reunification: The Contributions of Social Work Theory in the Provision of Services and Decision-Making

Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 2008


Child welfare practice family reunification, as mandated by the federal government, is considered to be the most difficult area of child welfare practice. This article presents the findings of a qualitative research study of how social workers used the theoretical knowledge base of the profession in their work with difficult families, and how it helped to facilitate the decision to recommend family reunification. This study examines how 12 MSWs used theoretical concepts that enabled them to be more objective, describe the changes they observed, and justify decisions to recommend family reunification. The data also produced a constellation of successful variables that offers a tool to aid other practitioners in their work with families, and in organizing and presenting documentation that would support a recommendation for family reunification to the courts. [ABSTRACT FROM AUTHOR]

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