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Family Finding Plays

Promising practices related to family-finding.

  • Ask the Kin You Find, for More Kin
  • Once you find one connection for a child, that connection can be the key to finding others.

    Who can do this? anyone
    Cost: free
    Timeframe: immediate
    Difficulty: easy

  • Ask about connections repeatedly over time
  • With the stress of an initial contact or removal, contacts may not remember or share connections right away. Repeated inquiries can help flesh out a full network of supportive adults.

    Who can do this? anyone
    Cost: free
    Timeframe: immediate
    Difficulty: easy

  • Ask Youth for Placement Options
  • Youth themselves are often an overlooked source of placement options.

    Who can do this? anyone
    Cost: free
    Timeframe: immediate
    Difficulty: easy

  • Establish a Dedicated Family Finding Team
  • A core team of employees dedicating to finding kin has multiple benefits.

    Who can do this? decision-makers
    Cost: employee costs
    Timeframe: months
    Difficulty: hard to start

  • Family-Finding Tools
  • Tools our member systems recommend for finding kin

    Who can do this? anyone
    Cost: free
    Timeframe: immediate
    Difficulty: easy

  • Make a Genogram
  • A genogram maps out all of a child's connections in one kinship tree.

    Who can do this? anyone
    Cost: free or under $100
    Timeframe: immediate
    Difficulty: easy

  • When Interacting with Kin for the First Time, Be Gentle
  • An initial contact can be a lot to handle, and stakes are high.

    Who can do this? anyone
    Cost: free
    Timeframe: immediate
    Difficulty: easy

  • Invite More Unpaid Supportive Adults Than Paid Staff to Meetings
  • The more unpaid supportive adults involved in a child's life, the better their long-term outcomes.

    Who can do this? anyone
    Cost: free
    Timeframe: immediate
    Difficulty: easy

  • Plan to Keep Kids Connected to Their Supportive Adults
  • Most kids leave foster care with fewer connections than they entered with. Systems can reverse this trend by making plans to maintain a child's existing relationships.

    Who can do this? anyone
    Cost: free
    Timeframe: immediate
    Difficulty: easy

  • Make Keeping in Touch with Kin a Formal Foster Family Responsibility
  • Include the expectation in your initial and ongoing foster parent training.

    Who can do this? anyone
    Cost: free
    Timeframe: immediate
    Difficulty: easy

  • Use Social Media to Find More Family Members
  • Systems that use social media for family finding report significant success in finding kin they would not find otherwise.

    Who can do this? anyone
    Cost: free
    Timeframe: immediate
    Difficulty: easy

  • Use a Red Team to Prevent Youth from Entering Group Homes
  • A dedicated red team can find creative placement options that are better for youth.

    Who can do this? senior agency leadershp
    Cost: free
    Timeframe: months
    Difficulty: moderate