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Establish a Dedicated Family Finding Team

The Play

Form a dedicated family-finding team for your child welfare system, instead of relying on individual case workers to find kin for the children on their caseload.

Who Can Do This?: Someone with decision-making authority
Cost: Cost of employees
Timeframe: Months
Difficulty: Hard to start

The Problem It Solves

Effective family-finding can require a specialized skillset, from being savvy with social media to warm yet strategic communication with newfound kin in order to engage them in a child’s life without scaring them. Not every case worker has all of these skills, and most have large workloads as-is. A small, dedicated team can focus on finding family and free up case workers for other tasks. A central team can also help standardize practices, and save money on subscription-based family-finding tools.

How To Do This

  • Create a new team or department.
  • Charge this new team with specific family-finding tasks, including:
  • Make hand-offs clear. Even with a dedicated team, finding kin is still everyone’s responsibility – there should be ways for other case workers, planning meeting attendees, and the youth themselves to contribute the names of more kin (or leads on how to find them).

Outcomes Data

Member systems with dedicated family-finding teams report higher-than-average rates of kin placement.

Who’s Doing This?

  • Rhode Island
  • Virginia