The Department of Social Services has the responsibility to reunite families whenever it is safe to do so. The Department usually works with birth parents toward getting their children back for about a year before pursuing other permanent placement options for the child.
There are times when children cannot return to their parents because of on-going safety issues and there are no other appropriate extended family members to care for the child.
The Department’s first responsibility is to attempt to safely return a child to his/her parents or other family members. If the Department is unable to identify a safe and willing caretaker within the family, we turn to our foster parents to provide a permanent home for the child.