Reintegration therapy is vigorous process, done over several stages, to help families that have been separated for extended periods of time to reintegrate in a healthy manner. Family Resource Network and Kaleidoscope Counseling has formulated a process for doing so, to include a level of accountability, to address attachment and bonding, and to heal relational wounds. Throughout this process, parents have the opportunity to provide clarification to the child/ren involved, and to develop skills to validate the child (ren)’s feelings and experiences resulting from the subsequent event/s. This process moves at the pace in which is deemed in all party’s best interest, particularly the child (ren).
- Sessions may occur on an individual or family basis depending on the best interest of the children
- Releases with for all appropriate parties (Professional and Non-Professional) to properly process will be required. Updates will be provided to clients, and thus releases for all parties involved, directly or indirectly, are required.
- Typically, it is the parent or caregiver’s, who is being reintegrated responsibility to render payment/reimbursement for all services, whether present in the session or not. If not set to partake in the session, payment/reimbursement must occur prior to the session as to not hold up services. Any payment made after the session has occurred with have a $15 courtesy fee applied for administrative purposes n collecting said fees.
Program Goals of Reintegration therapy:
- Parents will complete clarification/accountability process, validating feelings and experiences of children.
- Child/ren will express thoughts and feelings regarding past impact of subsequent parent/child separation.
- Parents will demonstrate an understanding of a healthy parenting style, including healthy communication style, ability to validate and empathize with child/ren, and the ability to remain attuned to child/ren’s needs, demonstrating the ability to respond in appropriate manner.
- Families will re-establish healthy, secure attachment through positive engagement and healthy bonding experiences
- Families will establish a healthy style of relating to one another; create family core values, family rules, and healthy disciplinary plan; address healthy boundaries and communication of thoughts and feelings in appropriate manner.
- Child/ren will be able to demonstrate ease and comfort with their parent/s, with the ability to communicate needs, thoughts, and feelings.
- Ultimately, families will successfully reintegrate, demonstrating ability to be with each other in a healthy manner
Stages/ Phases of the Reintegration Process
Each phase typically lasts approximately 3-6 weeks
Prep Stage: This stage typically lasts on average 3-6 weeks. During this time, the therapist will work with the family to gather history, determine the needs of the family, and build therapeutic rapport with both parties. This is done in independent sessions with all parties involved (custodial and none, as well as the child (ren), in collaboration with individual therapist, and may include family sessions.
Accountability Stage: To determine the level of accountability with the parent/care giver, the reintegration therapist will assign the parent/caregiver assignments. Often times the parent/ caregiver will be given regular tasks and assignments to build up consistency and trust within the relationship. As well as to establish boundaries and get a feel for where parties are at with the goals of reunification. This phase also typically includes the parent/caregiver completing a letter, whereby they will be expected to create letters the child/ren involved addressing their accountability in the matter which must be approved by the reintegration therapist. The purpose of this letter is to clarify, resolve, explain and empower the children through this process. This typically take multiple drafts of the letter before final completion, and it must be done in an age appropriate fashion, in the interest of the child (ren). During this time, the reintegration therapist is looking to see the parent’s level of accountability, consistency, ability to empathize, and their commitment before in person reunification occurs.
Clarification Stage: This stage typically lasts on average 3-6 weeks. During this stage, the parent and therapist begin preparing for reunification through different activities. The method of introducing initial contact is determined at the best interest of the child/ren. Some examples of this stage include pen pal letters, 5 Senses activity, phone calls, in person yet removed (skype, etc.) and/ or in person contact. The parent is expected to come prepared with materials during this stage to also show level of consistency and commitment towards reintegration.
Reunification Stage: This stage starts with a therapeutic supervised visit involving parent, child/ren, and reintegration therapist. The amount of time and length of occurrences is typically dependent on court orders or the best interest of the child. Once approved by the reintegration therapist, the visit times will be expanded. This approval will be based on court orders or the best interest of the children as well. This process typically lasts on average 3-6 weeks. After approval, the family will begin doing visits in a community-based setting and then return to have a processing session. During this time, it is expected that the parent provides a detailed schedule of where they will be to the reintegration therapist. The reintegration therapist will check in periodically to see how the family is doing in the community without immediate supervision. Once the parent has passed through this step, the process will go to unsupervised visits and the parents must work with the reintegration therapist to create a parenting time plan.
Standardized family sessions
Once services move to a non-clinical visitation mode, recommendations for standardized weekly (or as needed) family therapy services will be reviewed as needed.
- The time length between each phase is directly determined by the clinicians assigned, primarily the reintegration therapist, with close and regular collaboration with individual providers as necessary. The primary focus is always the best interest of the child (ren). It is important to understand that this process may take several months (12-36 weeks), or more, to complete, and parties must demonstrate dedication to successfully address the clinical needs of reintegration.