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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.

Every effort should be made to ensure a safe placement. Safety can not be understated as it is the highest priority in this time.



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). 

  • When children are rapidly reintegrating due to COVID-19, the extent of family tracing may be limited.

  • Upon finding a suitable family caregiver, discussion about the current environment caused by the pandemic 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.