Knowledge Base

Where is the best placement for this child?

Where is the best placement for this child?

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People Involved

  • Caseworker, family members, child, mentor, young adult and other community members.


  • Reunification/placement is the physical reuniting of the child with a family; the day the child/young adult transitions from the current form of care to family or community-based care.


Deciding which placement is best

  • Which family is going to provide the safest level of care?
  • Which placement is the more practical in terms of monitoring?
  • Which placement do we have the most information about?
  • Which placement is best suited to meet the child’s needs and causes the child the least disruption (such as geographical changes, family connection, etc)?

Guiding Notes

  • Children/young adults and families should be fully supported leading up to and during the move.
  • Children should have time to say goodbye to friends and caregivers before reuniting/placing them to the new care, this can be done through celebrations, escorting the child and/or celebration at the new form of care (family or community celebrations).
  • The child/young adult should have opportunities to ask questions and participate.
  • Considerations for the child’s individuality will include age, developmental capacity, gender, their relationship history with the family they will be placed with, their current feelings about the change, and length of time in current form of care.
  • Every child and every family are unique – their feelings and needs at reunification will be as unique as they are!


  • A successful transition of the child/young adult from the current form of care family/community.


  • The date of placement/reunification should be outlined in Case plan, accompanied by the actions needed to ensure the resources and support needed throughout the reintegration process are in place.
  • The date of placement/reunification may shift based on how child and family preparation progress. The best interest of the child should be the driving factor.
  • The caseworker(s) and other professional staff like counsellors should accompany the child on reunification/placement day.
  • The caseworker should encourage the current form of care to have a farewell for the child to demonstrate their excitement about their transition to the family; this is important for a sense of closure for the child and can also be comforting that their primary caregivers are demonstrating that the reunification/placement is a good thing for the child.
  • The caseworker should also encourage family to have a welcoming celebration in a manner appropriate to the family, culture and community to make the child feel welcome and supported.
  • In addition, the caseworker should support the family to hold Family Group Discussions (FGDs) that include other significant family members and some community resource person during the reunification/placement. This meeting will help the family identify strengths, weaknesses and make decision/commitments to be reflected on the case plan that will ensure successful and sustained reintegration.
  • Schedule the first monitoring visit and ensure the family/mentor and child/young adult know who to get in touch with and how in case of any concerns. It should be clear to the family and child when the caseworker can be expected to return.