The number of families sent to reunification programs is hard to determine. A 2017 study showed that Canadian judges ordered children into reunification in 27% of cases involving children who judges deem are unjustifiably resisting or rejecting parental contact. The study’s author, Shely Polak, an Ontario-based social worker who spent five years researching U.S. and Canadian reunification programs for her PhD dissertation, told The Washington Post that she thinks that prevalence is much higher in the U.S.
Ally Toyos, 20, and her younger sister were 13 and 11 when they alleged that their father was sexually abusing them. After three years of family court proceedings, a judge ruled that they were lying and ordered them to attend a reunification program in Montana run by Family Bridges.Read more: Surviving a reunification camp