Child welfare and successful reunification: understanding of the family difficulties during the socio-educative process
Pastor Vicente, Crescencia
Molina, María Cruz
Mundet Bolós, Anna
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Family reunification, in terms of the system of infancy protection, is the process by which a child returns to his/her biological family after a period of temporary foster care. The scientific literature and the new social policies share the understanding that socio-educative action with the biological family is an essential requisite for family reunion. Despite this agreement, socio-educative processes during family reunification have received little attention up till now. This paper presents the results of an investigation conducted by the GRISIJ group concerning one of the most important elements in the process of reunification: the ability to gain understanding into a family’s difficulty, which is known as “insight”. This investigation collects information from 135 people, 62 of which are child welfare professionals in the Spanish territory, 42 are fathers and mothers who have experienced a process of reunification and 30 are children and adolescents who have been through a foster care situation; all distributed in 13 focus groups and 20 interviews. Qualitative results have been analysed using the technique of analysis of content. The results show a gradual process for the acquisition of this skill, which involves different aspects: awareness of the problem (understanding and assimilation of the reasons that caused the removal); understanding of the reunification, comprehension of the reasons for the reunification; comprehension of the reunification process; awareness of the changes made and awareness of the progress in consolidating family reunification.