COVID-19 continues to impact vulnerable children and families around the world. In response to the pandemic, some governments have required residential care providers to rapidly return children to families without proper preparation for the transition.
While family reunification should be a priority whenever possible, these mandates put many nonprofits in a challenging position by forcing them to rapidly return children to households without critical preparation and support measures in place to increase the likelihood of a safe and lasting reintegration.
The CAFO Center for Applied Research, along with Samford University, conducted a study of 67 NGOs serving over 12,000 children facing this unprecedented situation. These NGOs provided valuable insight on:
- Rapid return mandates from local and national governments
- Child and family preparation prior to reunification
- Child and family support after reunification
- Concerns for reunified children and families
In addition, the research team was able to make recommendations for better practices to NGOs and governments involved in these processes.
You can find an infographic overview of the study here, and you can read the original paper in the current edition of the journal, Child Abuse & Neglect.