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Reunification is the process of reuniting the child with the birth family and is widely recognized as the initial goal for every child entering foster care. When reunification cannot happen, due to reasons of safety or other considerations, other permanency goals will be considered. 

Reunification is meant to be a 12-month goal, with birth parents working towards reunification with a worker supervising their progress. If the parent has been working towards their goals but more time is needed, reunification efforts can be extended past 12 months. 

If the supervising worker and the courts determine that a child should be reunited with his or her birth family, steps will be taken to start the transition back into the home with supports given to both the parents and the child(ren). 

If it has been decided that reunification is not the best option for the child, adoption should be the next goal to consider with permanent guardianship as an alternate goal. 

Learn more about adoption

Learn more about guardianship