"Reimagining the Foster Parent System," featuring the LSNJ film, "A Partnership of Hope: One Family's Story," was the first in LSNJ's new webinar series Supporting and Preserving Families. After viewing the film, we delved into a significant and timely theme: Rethinking how resource parents can support the reunification process. Parents, resource parents, and former foster youth discussed the various ways resource parents can support reunification.

Presenters included:

Jody Rogers, birth parent mentor, and Robyn Robbins, foster parent mentor, from the Birth and Foster Parent Program. Their unique stories demonstrate ways that resource parents can help mitigate the trauma of removal experienced by children and parents, how they can participate in case planning, and provide a toolkit for expediting reunifications.

Diana, a member of LSNJ's Reunified Youth Foster Forum, shared her perspective as a former foster youth. She recalled the way her resource parents fought for family reunification and supported her mother, and the impact their actions had on her and her family's well-being.

Dr. Susan Esquilin, child welfare expert, and Jey Rajaraman, Chief Counsel, Family Representation Project, discussed what New Jersey should do to support families and foster parents working toward reunification, with a focus on case planning and best practices for supporting reunification.


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