While Kids Alive ministry focuses on children, we are firmly committed to – and love to – reunify children with their families and strengthen family units.
We are finding more opportunities to reintegrate children in our residential ministries with their families, using various ways to help maintain connection and promote rehabilitation and reunification. Though the process is often long and challenging, with many stops and starts, the joy of reuniting a child with a safe and rehabilitated biological family member is full of blessing and joy.
At Ark Constanza we have developed the following norms to help increase the possibility of reunification:
- We accept children from an area near their biological families so we can work with them.
- We conduct a family assessment to understand the factors that caused the separation and to determine the family’s needs.
- Our social workers help children adjust to life in our residential programs and coordinate needed services with our multidisciplinary team and external agencies.
- An evaluation including all five (spiritual, academic, emotional, physical, and social) areas of development is performed and an individual plan is made for each child.
- A family plan is also made in the same five areas to provide help and support to the family. The goal is to help them heal and be empowered to take care of their children.
- Agreements with families are made in collaboration with the Children Prosecution Office and Families and Children Government Agency (CONANI). This collaboration gives legal weight and authority to enforce the agreements. These agencies also help with follow-up and compliance.
- We recommend a child-family reunification only when we determine the family is ready. The Children Prosecution Office and CONANI review the case; if they confirm the family is ready, they approve the reunification.
- We continue to supervise and accompany the family through calls and visitations up to a year after the reunification to support adjustment.
In recent months we have celebrated the reunification of two teenage boys with their biological mom and successfully transitioned a 19-year-old to the home of a former teacher, as that was a safer option than reuniting her with her family.
Both cases demonstrate Kids Alive’s strong commitment to reuniting families and strengthening them. We believe children and youth belong in families, and we work hard to restore, rehabilitate, or find good long-term homes for every child God places in our care.