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Social Work in Public Health


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.%


This is an Author's Original Manuscript of an article whose final and definitive form, the Version of Record, has been published in Social Work in Public Health, 2012, copyright Taylor & Francis, available online at: http://www.tandfonline.com/10.1080/19371918.2012.713294.

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