Washington

2018

Washington has at least 7 counties hosting events this year and a new web page. Link

2017

Sonomish County had its 7th Annual Reunification Picnic on June 3rd at American Legion Park in Everett, WA from 12-4pm. They celebrated families that were reunited over the past year. They also welcomed parents and families currently involved in the Child Welfare System to come and be inspired and to connect with Parent Allies who can support and encourage them through this process. They had food, cotton candy, crafts, games and a bounce house.

2016

Tacoma is having a reunification event on Friday, June 24th at Wapato Park. There will be games, prizes, pizza. 

For more information or to RSVP, contact Pauline Ross (253) 722-4789

See the flyer

King County's 7th Annual celebration will be held at King County Superior Court (516 Third Avenue, E-942, Seattle WA 98104) on Friday, June 24, 2016 from 11AM - 1:30PM. We will honor and celebrate families who have reunified and had their dependency cases dismissed over the last year, with music, games and art projects for children, and snacks. Judicial officers will be present to honor attending families.

Yakima County is having their 7th Annual Reunification Ceremony and Reception on Thursday June 23, 2016 at 3:00p.m. at the Yakima County Juvenile Justice Center located at 1728 Jerome Ave. Commissioner Robert Inouye is presiding over our court ceremony this year.There will be sandwiches, punch and cake served on the lawn of the courthouse immediately following the ceremony and lots of fun family activities! The Fire Truck is coming this year too!! For more information please email LaShaunda Harris at lharris at triumphtx.org or Rebecca Dombcik at rd at cenwalegal.com.

2015

Yakima County is having their Reunification Court Ceremony & Celebration on Thursday, June 18, 2015 from 11am-12pm at the Juvenile Justice Center located at 1728 Jermone Avenue.  A reception will immediately follow the ceremony on the lawn outside the court.  Families will enjoy kid-friendly games and refreshments!  

This year’s Reunification Court Ceremony and Celebration is sponsored by Yak-V-Pac, Veteran Parents and Allies, including Triumph Treatment Services’ Parent Child Advocacy and Housing Programs, Washington State DCFS, and the Yakima County Juvenile Court and Guardian ad Litem Programs. 

For more information, please contact LaShauda Harris at (509) 248-1800 or Rebecca Dombcik at (509) 574-1150.

2014

King County

This year will King County's Fifth Annual Reunification Day Celebration. The event will be held on Friday, June 27, 2014 in the Presiding Judge's Courtroom from noon to 2:00. There will be activities for the families and we will recognoze the hard work of the families and the teams that helped them through the process.

Pierce County

Pierce County’s Fifth Annual Reunification Celebration will be held on June 20, 2014 at Wapato Park in Tacoma, WA. The goals for the Reunification Celebration are to:

  • Recognize the success of families who have worked hard to reunify with their children and to acknowledge the many people who have supported them along the way;
  • Give hope to families that are currently working to reunify with their children; and
  • Inspire the community with the reality that the appropriate primary goal of the child welfare system is to preserve the family unit because “People Change, Families Reunite.”

There will be a certificate ceremony, food and drinks, bouncy house, face painting, and games and prizes for each parent and child attending. Additionally, the Children’s Administration, the CASA and GAL Department, the Assistant Attorney General’s Office, and other professionals will be in attendance. 

Spokane

The Spokane Parent Advocacy Network (SPAN) is holding its 4th annual Reunification Day Celebration on June 14th. All caregivers, children, and child welfare professionals are invited to celebrate families overcoming many barriers to successfully reunify. RSVP via Facebook, S-P-A-N@live.com or 509-228-3242

Yakima County

On Thursday June 12, 2014 from 11:00a.m. to 12:00p.m. at the Juvenile Justice Center located at 1728 Jerome Ave in Yakima, Court Commissioner Robert Inouye will preside over the 5th Annual Reunification Court Ceremony. This year 11 parents and 9 reunited families will be participating in the ceremony. There will be a picnic lunch, arts and crafts and family activities following the ceremony at Sarge Hubbard Park adjacent to Walmart and the Greenway. The lunch and activities will proceed from 12:30 p.m. to 3:00p.m. We expect the Fire Department to come out again this year and provide water works and fun for all the families joining us at the park. Several organizations actively are supporting and helped the Yak-V-PAC plan our event this year. They include Catholic Family and Child Services, Casey Family Programs, Yakima County DCFS, NAMI and Triumph Treatment Services and their housing and Parent and Child Advocacy Program.

The Yak-V-PAC is a local parent advocacy committee that consists of parents reunified with their children and their allies and supporters. We would like to thank all of our volunteers and look forward to wonderful celebration this year! For more information about our event please contact Lashaunda Harris at (509)248-1800 or Rebecca Dombcik at (509)574-1150.

2013

Pierce County

A reunification day event is being organized by the Multicultural Child and Family Hope Center/The Bridge and others and will be held on June 14, 2013 in Pierce County at the Wapato Park Main Picnic Shelter in Tacoma, WA. The event will include a picnic at the park with food and drinks, games and prizes, a bounce house, face painting, and a certificate ceremony.

2013

Yakima County

On June 14, 2013 Yakima County had its 4th annual Reunification Month event. Nine families were present at the court ceremony this year, and this was followed by a picnic and arts and crafts fun at the Sarge Hubbard park ending with the local Fire Department coming out to the event and taking pictures with the children and providing water works and fun!

A number of local agencies come out for the celebration to provide arts and crafts fun including Yakima County's Catholic Family and Children's Services, Ready By Five, Yakima County CASA program, the local DCFS offices, YWCA, Yakima Neighborhood Health, the Allied Arts Council, NAMI and Triumph Treatment Services and their local Parent Child Advocacy Program(PCAP).

Casey Family Programs sponsored and organized the picnic lunch for the day for the families in attendance at the picnic and event. This was a community endeavor organized by our local Parent Advocacy Committee made up of veteran parents and their allies that include parent attorneys and support social workers, Casey Family Program staff, DCFS social workers, and PCAP advocates. The lead coordinator and VP facilitator of our Yak-V-PAC is Lashaunda Harris whom is also the director of Yakima County's Parent Child Advocacy Program at Triumph Treatment Services.

For more information about our annual event or the other activities that we do in our community throughout the year, please contact Lashaunda at (509) 248-1800 or Rebecca Dombcik at (509) 574-1150.

Our next event is the "Better Me Better Parent" conference on October 11, 2013 that will be held at the Southeast Community Center in Yakima with the goal in providing information, education, family networking and empowerment to families that are in recovery. This will be the second time we are having this particular conference in Yakima.

2012

Many celebrations were held around Washington State in 2012.

Thurston County held an event on June 25th, 2012. The event was held at Calvary Chapel in Olympia. Families from Mason County were also included. The event was well attended with nearly 70 people in attendance including representatives from the Department of Social and Health Services, County Superior Court Judge Anne Hirsch, and Olympia City Councilman Jim Cooper who read a proclamation from Mayor Stephen Buxbaum.

King County held a Family Reunification Day on June 29th, 2012 at Seattle's Pacific Science Center. The event celebrated the efforts made by families to safely bring children back home after they have been in foster care and a reception followed.

Yakima County had a third annual Reunification Celebration this year on June 14th. There was a court ceremony to celebrate several families this year that completed the court process and had successful reunifications. Following the court ceremony there was a picnic and child/family activities at Sarge Hubbard park next to Walmart. Activities at the park include a speaker series where parents shared their stories about their successes toward reunification with their children. The Local Fire Department was on site for water play and fun for the children too!

For more information contact: Rebecca Dombcik (509) 574-1157

Spokane
The Spokane Parent Advocacy Network, hosted a reunification celebration on Saturday June 23, 2012 at Coeur d'Alene Park in Browne's Addition. The event celebrated and honored parents involved with Child Protective Services who reunited with their children. SPAN encouraged any parents (birth, foster, and/or relative care) who had (current or past) involvement with CPS to attend. Food and door prizes were provided. 

"People Change ~ Families Reunite" t-shirts will soon available for ordering at a suggested $15.00 donation. The money raised goes towards parenting classes, parent mentoring, and similar services. We are using Blue Button Apparel for printing, they are a local nonprofit screen printer that uses sustainable methods AND employs at-risk youth.

For more information contact: S-P-A-N@live.com

Pierce County
A reunification celebration was again held this year in Pierce County. There was a picnic with outside games, a bounce house, a certificate ceremony for parent(s) and professional of the year, and guest speakers.

2011

At least four reunification celebrations were held in Washington State in 2011.

The reunification day celebration in Pierce County was fantastic. Nearly 100 people attended. 25 families were honored with certificates.  Many happy children bounced in the bounce house and won prizes.  Successful reunifications were celebrated with the several veteran parents, the Office of Public Defense staff, Juvenile Court staff, department staff, community stakeholders, the AAG office, 5 judges, 2 Senators and three representatives. Mason County also had a small reunification celebration where a family received a certificate, a gift card, and had a party with the commissioner.

For more information contact: Brenda Kaufman 253-327-3764

Kitsap County will have its 2nd Annual Reunification Celebration B-B-Que and potluck at Evergreen Park with games, resources, and lots of fun.

For more information contact: Myrta Bowen myrtasbowen@hotmail.com

"All rise", punctuated the opening of King County’s 2nd Annual Reunification Celebration on June 17th, 2011 at the Pacific Science Center in Seattle.  Eight Superior Court Judges and Four Superior Court Commissioners entered the laser dome to “open court.”  The event hosted fourteen reunified families. Parent’s attorneys, Assistant Attorneys General, Social Workers, CASAs, and many service providers were also present to help families celebrate their successes. The Assistant Secretary of the Department of Social and Health Services, Denise Revels Robinson addressed the attendees and recognized the hard work and commitment that it takes from everyone to be successfully reunified.  Heartwarming speeches from a father, a mother and a teen who had been reunified with their family were heard.

The event was inspiring and was focused on celebrating families’ successes.  At the end of the ceremony the lights dimmed and participants were all treated with a surprise laser show that could not have been more perfect.  The organizing committee had anticipated a very short laser presentation that only said “Congratulations Families”; however, the laser technicians were so moved by the ceremony that they put on a whole show complete with music and dancing animals.  The kids (and adults) were in awe as laser generated dancing lions pranced across the ceiling in time with the song, “One Love.”

The ceremony was followed by a reception, and after that, thanks to some very generous sponsors, the families were able to tour all of the exhibits the Science Center. One father wrote: “Celebrating the reunification of myself and my family was the most heartwarming experience I have felt in a long time.  My family and I had the opportunity to embrace one another and to see so many people with smiles on their faces, made this whole journey all the better!”

I was very proud of the committee members for making this years’ event spectacular.  We are already starting to plan for next years’ celebration. -Commissioner Mark Hillman"

For information about Washington’s Reunification Week, please contact: Nancy Roberts-Brown, Director, Catalyst for Kids.