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Family visitation in child welfare: Helping children cope with separation while in foster care

Partners for Our Children – 2011

Describes the importance of family visitation between biological parents and their children in foster care. Discusses the benefits of family visitation and outlines best practices for successful visitation. Notes the importance of timely first visits, as well as incorporating visitation plans into larger family case plans. Describes how visitation plans should mesh with other services, such as substance abuse treatment, counseling, and parenting classes. Discusses levels of supervision and progressive family visitation. Outlines elements of three stages of family visitation: preparation and planning to cover logistics, the visit itself, and post-visit assessment and documentation. Describes who should oversee visits and lists factors that support visitation. Provides advice for social workers on overcoming barriers to birth parent involvement. Discusses the role of the juvenile court system in supporting family visitation.