What is Parent-Child Reunification Counselling?

Parent-child reunification is a counselling process to assist children and their parent, who have been estranged from each other, to unite again. 

Why Do Families Seek Parent-Child Reunification?

It is believed that children are entitled to a meaningful and healthy relationship with both parents. At times when parents are going through separation and divorce proceedings, children may become estranged from one parent for a variety of reasons. Parent-child reunification counselling builds on the strengths of each family member, addresses any concerns, and supports a safe and stable relationship with both parents.

Who Provides Parent-Child Reunification?

Reunification counselling is provided by a professional with knowledge in separation and divorce issues, high conflict families, child development, domestic violence, conflict resolution, and parent-child difficulties.

What Is The Role Of The Professional?

The role of the professional is to work with each parent and the child toward the goal of re-establishing an appropriate parent-child relationship. The professional may work with extended family, including step-parents, siblings, and grandparents.  The professional may seek full access to relevant reports and documents and may speak with third party collaterals. The professional will support, coach, create opportunities to rebuild the relationship, and facilitate visits. The professional separates valid concerns from negative, rigid and unrealistic fears and works with the parents to shield the child from further conflict between the parents.

The professional may need to be involved for several months.

What Is The Role Of The Parents?

Parents are expected to put the children’s needs before their own, and treat the other parent with respect. Parents are also asked to respect the reunification process by cooperating with the counsellor, such as attending appointments and providing their consent to obtain relevant information.

How Does The Reunification Counsellor Become Involved?

Parent-child reunification may be tied to the authority of the court, through a court order or an agreement. Parent-child reunification may follow the recommendations of a parenting plan assessment. 

How Much Does Parent-Child Reunification Cost?

Cases vary in complexity. Parents are required to provide a retainer in advance. Parents will be asked to share the cost based on a cost-sharing formula determined by the parents or the courts.  The professional will charge an hourly fee. Parents usually share the cost.

When Does The Process Terminate?

Parent-child reunification ends when a healthy and comfortable relationship is established.  The process may also be terminated if both parents agree, or if the professional comes to the conclusion that the process is no longer helpful.