Sunday, December 16, 2007

Family Re-unification Procedure

Here is the list from the plan from the Center for Sex Offender Management. It’s useful and used by professionals who do this work.

Non-offending parents will:
  • Resolve feelings and expressions of disbelief, shock, and denial;
  • Hold the offender responsible for the abuse;
  • Remain absent of attitudes or statements that reflect victim blaming, minimization, justification, or externalization related to the abuse;
  • Ensure that the child's emotional and physical well being remains paramount;
  • Modify any familial structure and patterns that directly or indirectly supported abusive behavior;
  • Consistently protect and support the abused child and any other vulnerable individuals in the family;
  • Demonstrate assertiveness, effective problem-solving skills, and self-sufficiency while utilizing appropriate support systems and external resources;
  • Understand the range of factors and precursors associated with the offender's behaviors and participate in the offender's relapse prevention plan;
  • Work collaboratively with supervision agents, offender treatment providers, and the victim therapist;
  • Take immediate and definitive actions when any concerns arise;
  • Comply with recommendations of the child welfare agencies, treatment providers, and the courts; and
  • Address any personal history of victimization
Prior to reunification, the offender should evidence the following:
  • Identification and modification of cognitive distortions, consistently demonstrating the absence of denial, minimization, justification, or externalization of the abuse;
  • Demonstration of victim empathy, with a clear understanding of the harm caused to the direct and indirect victim(s) and other family members;
  • Recognition that the needs and safety of the victim(s) and other vulnerable family members are paramount;
  • Recognition of precursors and dynamic risk factors associated with the abusive behavior;
  • Development and consistent implementation of effective coping skills to address the specific risk factors identified;
  • Presence of an adequate and approved safety plan that thoroughly addresses potential concerns within the home and environment;
  • Consistent compliance with specialized supervision conditions and other externally imposed stipulations; and
  • Effective participation in any other required or recommended services (e.g., marital therapy, family therapy, parenting classes, substance abuse treatment).
The victim's therapist plays a pivotal role in the reunification process by ensuring – to the extent possible – that the victim:
  • Has generally resolved acute symptoms associated with having been victimized;
  • Expresses a genuine and reasonable desire for contact with the offender;
  • Understands that the offender is solely responsible for the abusive behavior;
  • Is able to effectively and openly communicate needs and concerns;
  • Clearly understands personal boundaries;
  • Recognizes concerns with secrecy;
  • Feels safe and reassured;
  • Can recognize potential warning signs of abuse; and
  • Has developed a personal safety plan.
The reunification process may be more successful when the family therapist has verified that the remaining family members
  • Understand that sexual abuse has in fact occurred within the home;
  • Attribute full responsibility for the offense to the offender, without blaming the victim or justifying, or minimizing the abuse;
  • Demonstrate no collusion with the offender;
  • Recognize the significant impact of the abuse on the victim;
  • Support the victim and others in the home, ensuring a safe environment;
  • Explore and understand how these circumstances have personally affected them;
  • Recognize that the non-offending parent or other responsible adult holds the authority and power in the home;
  • Feel safe and confident in the non-offending parent's ability to protect;
  • Can identify cues in the offender's behavior that may reflect increased risk;
  • Have addressed communication problems or issues of secrecy that may inhibit the reporting of risky or abusive behavior;
  • Are working toward modifying overly rigid or enmeshed boundaries that existed within the home in the past; and
  • Adhere to the established rules and limits established by the treatment providers, family members, and/or the supervision agency.

CLARIFICATION: offender should be prepared in advance to answer the following questions that are commonly asked by victims:
  • Why did you abuse me?
  • How did you trick me?
  • What did I do wrong that caused you to do this to me?
  • Will you molest me again?
  • How did you keep others from knowing about the abuse?
  • How do you think the abuse has affected me?
  • Do you still love me even though I told?
  • Are you getting help?
  • How is the treatment helping?


5_chicks_in_nest said...

This has been my guide book for our reunification..... I was wondering if there was a site that helped with the proper format for the safty plan, not for the offender but for the victim, non offending parent and the family. I need to have it presentable for court and all I have are bullets if you know what I mean. Is there anything out there? I have done tons of research but it is not clear what they want to see. Thanks

Anonymous said...

How long is this going to keep our family apart???

Anonymous said...

Thank you for posting this! It has given me hope that my family can come back together.

5_chicks_in_nest said...

we are reunified! We also created a reunification process in the courts for the first time in this county! The judge ordered he could come home! God is GREAT! The hard work for 6 yrs is paying off!

Jennifer said...

God is good! Amen

coffee said...

Congrats 5 chicks in a nest.

Pray for my family that they allow me to return home to my family. I come up to childrens court in March 2010 with progress of services offered to me and my biological daughter. My wife and I are going to ask for reunification services here in Los Angeles and thanks to Linda and all the info provide we are praying that they will allow services to be offered to us.

Los Angles, California

Anonymous said...

I dont know what to say...can it REALLY happen?? My family becoming unified?? Restored?? I have been in treatment and counseling programs before the exposure of my sins, and since release from jail, to present, and want my family back so so bad. I want them to know what I'm doing to be a better man, husband, and father, and ...I love them so very much... Yes, God IS great at all times and if you've been reunified..congrats big time. To others...don't give up. I won't. Thanks for this site !!