When can my children come home? This is the first question many parents ask when their children or youth are in foster care. (In this factsheet, we use the term “foster care” broadly. It refers to any situation in which children are in the State’s custody, whether they stay with relatives, in a licensed foster home, or in a residential facility.) When children are placed in foster care, it can be very stressful for everyone in the family. You may feel angry, overwhelmed, or worried about your children’s safety and well-being. Your children may be confused and scared. But foster care is not forever. Children and youth can and do return home to their families. In fact, this is the most common outcome. Reunification—which means getting the family safely back together—is almost always the first goal and in your child’s best interest.