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Contact: Chris Case, (360) 902-7892, chris.case@dshs.wa.gov
Contact: William Barrett, (206) 639-6208, william.barrett@dshs.wa.gov
June 24, 2013
Family Reunification Day celebrates children's return home

Nina Caso and her daughter Isabella, recently reunified after Nina's successful completion of Family Treatment Court, will be among the families celebrating Family Reunification Day June 28 in Seattle.

Just after her daughter was born in May 2011, Department of Social and Health Services social workers and the court system began to work with Nina to find a path toward reunification.

"Nina's success demonstrates that parents want to keep their children safe in their own homes. That we are able to help in reunification is great example of how we and others work to support families and children," said DSHS Children's Administration Assistant Secretary Jennifer Strus.

The Reunification Day event, scheduled from 12:15 to 1 p.m. at Seattle's Pacific Science Center, recognizes families that are reunited after overcoming obstacles ranging from substance abuse to struggles with parenting skills.

The Department, in partnership with the families and social service providers of all kinds, prefers reunification when courts place kids in out-of-home care while their parents work to resolve the issues that led to children being removed from the home.

Department statistics show about 70 percent of children who are removed from their homes because of abuse or neglect and placed into foster care are able to return home.

Families who have been reunited in the past year will be joined by King County Superior Court judges, DSHS officials and others. Families will have the opportunity to tour the Seattle Center following the celebration.

This year's event is sponsored by the King County Superior Court, Casey Family Programs, Washington State Office of Public Defense, DSHS Children's Administration, the state Office of the Attorney General, the King County Court Appointed Special Advocate Program, Children's Home Society, the King County Parent Advocacy Committee, Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle Aquarium and Seattle Children's Museum.  

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DSHS does not discriminate and provides equal access to its programs and services for all persons without regard to race, color, gender, religion, creed, marital status, national origin, sexual orientation, age, veteran’s status or the presence of any physical, sensory or mental disability.