This chapter focuses on the ‘working in partnership with “lost” parents’ research project. In the research study, tracing lost parents was often identified by social workers as the first barrier to establishing a working relationship with ‘lost’ parents and hence to promoting contact between children and their families. Balancing short-term and long-term needs presents continuing dilemmas in social work practice. Fullness of recording in case files and life story books can go some way towards redressing imbalances, if not resolving the dilemmas, and help to build the bridges of dynamic life stories. Practitioners are not unusual in their lack of awareness of the tracing process. Many of the social workers in the study found initiating contact with ‘lost’ parents a difficult issue. Parents may want to know more than children and young people wish to convey at this point.