California

California

Ventura County

Parents with Purpose is hosting a Parent Leader Convening on June 20th, 2013. The event is entitled “Stories of Strength and Purpose" and will bring Parent Leaders together in Ventura County to acknowledge and celebrate the work they have done in the community.

For more information contact Anitta Talley atalley@unitedparents.org

Los Angeles

Inspired by what he saw happening in Iowa with their reunification celebration picnics, Judge Michael Nash, Presiding Judge of the Los Angeles County Juvenile Court, raised the idea with the Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS).  DCFS leadership liked the idea and together Judge Nash and DCFS presented the idea of celebrating family reunifications to the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors.  The Board of Supervisors approved, a planning committee was put together, and the first ever reunification celebration week took place the first week of March 2010 in Los Angeles, California. Los Angeles has continued to celebrate reunification week in 2011 and 2012. DCFS has a family reunification website

The goal of the reunification celebration week is to recognize the accomplishments and dedication of families who have worked to regain custody of their children and to acknowledge the people who support and guide them along the way.  Reunification celebration weeks raise awareness in the Los Angeles community about the families involved in child welfare and drove home the message that reunification is a significant and widespread part of child welfare work and is the ultimate goal of the child welfare system – to safely bring families together, not tear them apart.

There have been events in multiple locations in Los Angeles. Often each office hosting a celebration will highlight a program that is key to helping families reunify.  Since a major goal of the reunification celebration week is to educate the public about the importance of family reunification, members of the press have been invited to the Board of Supervisors reception and to the regional office events. 

Funding for the reunification celebration week was provided by the Board of Supervisors from their discretionary funds. 

From now on, when a family reunifies and their case is dismissed the court will be providing the family with a certificate of reunification.  Too often a family’s case is closed with little excitement or acknowledgement about what an accomplishment this is.  The certificate of reunification will help recognize the family’s accomplishment. 

Los Angeles has also highlighted reunification heroes, which helped inspire the ABA's Reunification Heroes publications.

For more information about the Los Angles County reunification celebration, please contact Judge Nash .

Los Angeles County DCFS developed a family reunification website. The site includes biographies of reunification heroes and videos of many stakeholders.


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