Yakima County Couple Reunites with Daughter during Reunification Month

June 26, 2024
Two parents smiling holding up their certificates on either side of a judge

After two years of working towards reunification, one couple graduated from Yakima County’s Family Recovery Court (FRC) and were reunited with their two-year-old. The family will be celebrating this achievement on June 27 during a Reunification Month Ceremony.  

Reunification month is a national awareness month that celebrates the power of families reunifying, as well as the people and programs that support them. Every year counties from all over the state celebrate the successful reunification of families who’ve partnered with the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) and the courts to improve their skills, find sobriety, and create a safe and loving relationship with their children. 

“DCYF is committed to keeping children safe and providing supports to help families stay together,” said DCYF Deputy Regional Administrator for Region 2 Claudia Campos. “We know that we see better outcomes when children are able to safely remain in their homes, and we are here to help parents achieve that.”

One of the programs Brandon and Perla completed to reunite with their daughter was Family Treatment Court (FTC). FTC is a recovery court model designed to support the rehabilitation of parents with substance use disorder involved in dependency cases. FTC includes a number of supports to help families succeed including court partners, SUD providers, Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and many more. This is where the couple met Child/Family Welfare Services Social Service Specialist 3, Kayla Bishop, who helped them through the process. 

“Brandon and Perla are willing to do anything asked of them,” said Bishop. “They are always open and they’re doing so well because they’ve accepted help. I wholeheartedly believe that I will never see them as part of DCYF again.” 

When asked what advice he had for others who find themselves in this program Brandon simply said, “surrender.”

“In order for this to work, you must surrender, believe, and trust,” said Brandon. “DCYF created their programs like this for a reason and it’s not to make people fail.”

Using his new-found sobriety to help others, Brandon visits correctional and treatment facilities to mentor dads. 

“Visiting these men is a reminder of where I was,” said Brandon. “I tell them that they may be in a different situation but it’s not unique. I hope I reach some of them. I just want them to know that we are equal, and they can turn their lives around too. Recovery is free, but you have to come get it.”

When asked about their daughter, both Brandon and Perla light up. She is a happy, smart toddler who loves climbing, babbling, and hot Cheetos. The couple has plans to save money, get married, and buy a house together. Brandon is in barber school and Perla is finishing her GED, both are incredibly grateful for the opportunity and support they received to reunite their family.

“Everybody deserves a second chance,” said Perla.