Facilitating impossible goodbyes: A proposal for conducting the final visit after termination of parental rights

Rebecca R. Laufer (2006)

This paper explores the nature of termination of parental rights (TPR), including the final visit that occurs between the biological parents and children after TPR. This paper also reviews the extent to which children in America experience a TPR and the lack of literature on the final visit. The purpose of this paper was to create guidelines for conducting the final visit after TPR when a decision has been made to hold a final visit. These guidelines were created through a review of the literature on grief, loss, adoption, attachment, and foster care and distribution of a questionnaire to state child welfare caseworkers on their experiences of conducting the final visit. Topics for the guidelines include who should attend the final visit, the setting for the visit, what should occur during the visit, and preparation for the visit. The guidelines can be used by facilitators of the final visit to assist families with saying goodbye and terminating the parentchild relationship.