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What is Family Tracing?

What is Family Tracing?

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Family tracing consists of the activities done to gather information and locate the parents, extended family or legal guardian of the separated or lost child. It is the beginning of the assessment process and is an initial activity anytime family separation has occurred.

In family tracing endeavors, every effort should be made to ensure a safe connection is established to build towards a sustainable placement.



Family tracing is finding families

  • The search is successful when a household with connection to the child is found and caretakers therein are willing and able to receive the child.

  • If no family or extended family can be identified, the purpose is to trace additional individuals connected to the child. 

  • The family should be treated without judgment and with respect for diversity.

  • In a normal situation, family tracing tends to include multiple visits to trace as many family members as possible, to determine who may be best suited to care for the child (and so the caseworker is aware of the complete support network available to the child).

  • Upon finding a suitable family caregiver, discussion about the current environment should be discussed and lines of communication opened to determine the best situation for the child’s long-term permanency.

  • In doing no harm, caution should be taken to not make promises regarding the return of the child or any other services.

  • Be sure to address any potential issues that arise when talking with the parents.