Should ‘Visitation’ be Changed to ‘Family Time’ For Kids in Foster Care? (Pt 2)

A couple walking down a path in the woods, with their young son running ahead of them and laughing

Welcome back and thanks for joining us again for this discussion on the issue of visitation for kids in foster care, and how that time together should be viewed more as “family time” and less as a short visit. As we explained in the previous article, the federal government has recently released a memo addressing this problem, and discussing strategies for how it can be solved by child welfare agencies all over the country.

All families deserve time to be together

Specifically, the memo talks about the fact that family time should allow parents and their children who are in foster care to spend time together doing “normal family activities”, like eating meals and attending school functions. Treating time together as nothing  more than a “visit” devalues it and makes it less impactful for both the parents and their children.

Why does the federal DHHS think this is important?

Right at the top of the memo they explain that the purpose of the information being shared is “to provide information on research, best practices, resources and recommendations for providing children and youth in out-of-home care safe, meaningful and high frequency family time that strengthens the family, and improves parent and child well-being outcomes.” 

What would be the benefits of family time instead of visitation?

The memo also points out that meaningful time spent with family has some very important long- and short-term benefits, including:

  • Enhanced parental engagement;
  • A greater likelihood of reunification;
  • Expedited permanency; and
  • Increased chances of the reunification being sustained
  • Improved emotional and psychological well-being for both children and parents

Why would more family time be helpful for kids?

Studies show that kids who get longer time to spend with family members show increased well-being, stronger attachments to their parents, lower levels of depression, fewer behavioral problems, and all around better adjustment in life. So as you can see, there are some very important reasons why investing in family time would be beneficial to everyone involved. Now, if only we can get Michigan CPS on board…

Michigan CPS needs to keep these facts in mind.

CPS in Michigan tends to have a very “shoot first and ask questions later” mentality when it comes to removing kids from their family homes. We’ve handled many cases where hysterical parents have called us after their children were removed for contrived and blatantly fabricated reasons, and we’ve had to go toe-to-toe with CPS to get the children back. But we do it and we’re good at it. So if you need help battling CPS, call 866 766 5245 today and talk to one of our fierce CPS defense attorneys. We’ll do battle for you.