Incarcerated parents attempting to reunify with their children in foster care can find it difficult to complete the activities on their court-ordered case plans, such as drug treatment services and visitation with children. Although much has been written regarding the obstacles that are likely to interfere with reunification for incarcerated parents, very little quantitative research has examined the topic. This study uses secondary data to examine the incarceration experiences and reunification outcomes of a sample of 225 parents in one large urban California county. In multivariate analysis controlling for problems and demographics, incarcerated parents were less likely to reunify with their children; however, service use appeared to mediate this relationship, as the negative association between incarceration and reunification did not persist when service use was included as a variable in the model. Suggestions are made for policy and practice changes to improve reunification outcomes for this population of parents.%
Amy C. D’Andrade and M. Valdez. "Reunifying from behind bars: A quantitative study of the relationship between parental incarceration, service use, and foster care reunification" Social Work in Public Health (2012): 616-636.