CLEARFIELD – At least 40 children will be served and eventually reunited with their families via the Time Limited Family Reunification grant, which was approved by the Clearfield County Commissioners Tuesday.
The Clearfield County Children, Youth and Family Services requested $164,930 annually for three years from the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare/Office of Children, Youth and Families for Time Limited Family Reunification.
Fran Kuhn, children and youth services director, said a cash match is not required.
“That makes it wonderful,” he said.
Kuhn said the services will be provided by Cen-Clear Child Services, Inc and are designed for youth who have been in placement for less than 15 months. “Our goal is to reunite them with their families.”
The key strategy will focus on family group decision making, which he said more strongly involves both the immediate and extended families in the decision making and responsibility for the welfare of the child.
Laurie Filitske, director of family support, said often times 10 or more family members pitch in.
“You can say we do it the old-fashioned way, as it used to be done,” Kuhn said.
He said the outcome would be three-fold and will:
• reduce the average length of time before reunification occurs.
• reduce the number of placement movies for children in foster care.
• reduce the re-entry rate for children returning to county custody following reunification.
Kuhn noted cases are not closed immediately after reunification. “We know there is a transition phase.”