June is National Reunification Month

Posted on June 15th, 2020

PRESS RELEASE: June 15, 2020

The Marion Superior Court, Juvenile Division, joins forces with local child welfare agencies to shine a spotlight on the importance of reunifying families.

INDIANAPOLIS – During the month of June, Indiana had made big plans to join 29 other states across the US to celebrate National Reunification Month, which recognizes families involved in the child welfare system that have successfully reunified. Although these original plans have changed due to the COVID19 pandemic, the child welfare community is still working together, virtually and at a safe physical distance, to celebrate and raise awareness about the importance of reunifying families.

While the term “child welfare” is often associated with the worst case scenario, including a child’s removal from their home, most families actually recover and reunify. In fact, in Indiana, 68.6% of children exit foster care and successfully reunify with their parents in safe, loving, and stable homes. That is a higher rate than our neighboring states – Illinois (40.0%), Kentucky (65.3%), Michigan (49.4%), and Ohio (51.5%).

“Sadly, the message of family reunification is often lost with stories of foster placements and adoptions rising to the forefront,” said Hon. Jennifer Hubartt, Marion Superior Court, Juvenile Division. “While those stories are important, Reunification Month is an opportunity to shed a light on the fact that the majority of children in the child welfare system are successfully reunified with their parents.”

Earlier this year, in preparation for National Reunification Month, Marion Superior Court, Juvenile Division, collaborated with the Marion County Public Defender Agency to bring activities and programs to the community and child welfare professionals. Additionally, several local agencies working with Hoosier families also got involved in the planning of these events including:

  • Marion Superior Court – Juvenile Division
  • Indiana Department of Child Services Marion County
  • Child Advocates
  • Choices Coordinated Care Solutions
  • Marion County System of Care Collaborative (MCSCC)
  • MCCOY (Marion County Commission on Youth)
  • Children’s Bureau
  • Marion County Public Defender’s Agency – TPR/CHINS division
  • Riley Children’s Hospital
  • Mackida Loveal & Trip Outreach Center
  • Regional Service Council for Region #10

In lieu of the larger events originally scheduled, the National Reunification Month planning committee has made arrangements for families they serve to participate in a drive through celebration where they can collect food boxes or essential household items. This event is scheduled to take place on June 26. Interested media may contact Pamela Suchecki (Pamela.Suchecki@Indy.Gov) for specific details about the supply drive as well as other questions related to National Reunification Month.