Working to transform the child welfare system.

Family Visitation in the Child Welfare System

Current research shows consistent and frequent visitation between parents and their children in out-of-home care can reduce trauma for children (Smariga, 2007; Mallon & Hess, 2005; Haight, Kagle & Black, 2003). Visitation is crucial to strengthening and maintaining family relationships – it’s also important for parent-child attachments and can decrease the sense of abandonment that children often experience when they are removed from their home and placed into out-of-home care. Family visitation is linked to positive outcomes, including improved child well-being, less time in out-of-home care, and faster reunification when it is in the best interest of the child (Mallon & Hess, 2005; Hess, 2003).

This updated 2016 policy brief provides background on visitation for parents and their children in foster care, an overview of research findings on visitation and policy recommendations for visitation.