Research in public health is proving that COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus that makes large group settings a risk for spreading the disease from one person to another. Due to this, some governments have mandated children in residential settings to be reintegrated into family care. In other countries, some organizations are electing to reintegrate when it is safe and in the child’s best interest. While we are not dealing with ideal situations, as much as is possible the determination of whether or not a child reintegrates should happen on a case-by-case basis.
While the present pandemic has accelerated family reunification, it should also be stated that research has shown that having children grow up in a family is preferred over institutional care. If the rapid placement can be stabilized, permanency within a family is the preferred care setting. During a time of crisis or when the crisis is over, family based care provides imperative benefits to a child, including:
Strong family bonds
Parental love that is genuine and consistent
Positive behavior development and monitoring
The child understanding the family and community culture
The child understanding his/her rights in the family