Research shows that the best place for a child to grow up is in a loving family. In cases where that might not be possible even temporarily, the CRC Residential Children's program provides a safe living environment until the child is ready to either be reintegrated into their family, or into a loving foster family. This process is called reunification, because it reunifies the child with family and the community. The Ministry of Social Welfare for Children and Gender Affairs in Sierra Leone is increasingly encouraging reunification of children in residential programs with suitable families as soon as possible.
The CRC has a very intentional program to prepare children and families for the transition of reunification. For months leading up to reunification, natural and foster families are given many opportunities to attend formal parenting workshops and training held at the CRC, as well as fun social events designed to allow families to spend time together building a connection to one another. Children are given opportunities to visit their families in their homes and communities on multiple occasions leading up to the final reunfication, so that they can become acclimated to the home and environment of their "forever home." Counseling is provided to families and children before, during and even after the reunification happens.
Twenty children were reunified with their families on August 8. The CRC held a special celebration to send the children off with love and joy.