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In 1996, on a cold Sunday in March, thirty-six concerned residents and service providers gathered at the home of Randi Rubin and Sergio Rodriguez to identify how they could fill the void in services for children in foster care and their parents. The problem? Families who had had their children removed by the Department of Children and Families (DCF) had less than a 50/50 chance of reunifying; in part due to issues of substance abuse, domestic violence, unmet mental health needs and parents’ own histories with the child welfare system. As a result, children were residing in foster care for years on end.
Sergio and Randi had come from strong, intact families, and were motivated to see children have what they believed was their birthright — a permanent, stable family to call their own. The group agreed it was time to stabilize the lives of children in the DCF system; whether through reunification, transfer of guardianship or adoption. Continue reading.