Family Visitation: Key to Safe Reunification for Children in Foster Care.
Advocates for Children of New Jersey.
Published: August 2014
Advocates for Children of New Jersey
35 Halsey Street
Newark, NJ 07102
To gather more information about how family visitation is conducted in New Jersey, Advocates for Children of New Jersey conducted a survey in January 2014. About 450 people involved in the child protection system responded. Findings indicate: 68% of survey respondents said parents and children had weekly visits either always (15%) or frequently (53%); less than half of respondents said siblings had weekly visits while in foster care; parents not showing for appointments, transportation, and scheduling conflicts were the most commonly cited barriers to regular visitation; 65% of respondents said visits were always or frequently appropriately supervised, with 21% saying this happened only occasionally; nearly half of respondents said that visits are occasionally or rarely held at locations that encourage positive interaction among parents and children; less than half said judges always or frequently reviews families' visitation plans as the case progresses; and about half said resource/foster parents are not adequately involved in visitation plans, nor are they kept informed about what happens during visits. Recommendations for addressing barriers to parental and sibling visitation are made.
foster children; family reunification; parental visits; sibling visits; supervised visitation; visitation; New Jersey