Stories of successful reunification: A narrative study of family resilience in child welfare

Cynthia Lietz, Margaret Strength

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

39 Scopus citations


Family resilience literature discusses the strengths helpful to families when overcoming adversity. This study looks at the resilience of 15 families whose children were removed due to child maltreatment, but who achieved reunification and maintained improved functioning over time. Qualitative methods guided by the narrative tradition were used to elicit stories of successful reunification. Findings uncovered 10 strengths evaluated by these families as highly influential in their ability to achieve reunification, remain intact, and maintain healthy functioning. Although extensive literature exists regarding barriers to reunification, this research provides understanding regarding successful outcomes from the perspectives of parents. The study also lends support to the applicability of the construct of resilience for families involved in child welfare services.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)203-210
Number of pages8
JournalFamilies in Society
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2011


ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)

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