Buddy Families – An Enriching Experience

Have you heard of our Buddy Family program? Buddy families are just regular people in the community who step up to become part of the support network for an adoptive family. They get to know parents and their new kids, and help out by spending a couple evenings and one weekend a month with the youth, so that everyone can have a break from the intense work of family building. Here is what people are saying about the buddy family experience:

What being a Buddy Family means to us…(perspective from a current buddy family):

“We found our way into being a Buddy Family after stumbling upon Ampersand Families’ website and attending some of their trainings. Being a Buddy Family is a hands-on, meaningful way to support Ampersand’s mission and help adoptive families through their process of adjusting and solidifying as a family. As Ampersand says, adoptive families need a village to thrive. Not only do we provide monthly weekend buddy care for one Ampersand teen (“A”), we have also spent time together as families – going out to dinner, attending birthday parties for “A”, and trick or treating together. Being part of their village as a Buddy Family is a great way to positively impact newly forming families.”

Adoptive families often feel a sense of relief, hope, and support once they get matched with a buddy family. After meeting their buddy family for the first time, here is what one adoptive family said:

“I wanted to let you know that our new Buddy Family is AMAZING!! I can’t get over what a good match it is. We met the buddy parents a couple weeks ago alone. Then this past Sunday our whole family went over there for dinner with the buddy parents and their son. Our son and theirs got along great and have a lot of similar interests. The buddy parents are wonderful and are going to be great mentors and supports for us. They said they could have our son overnight once a month which is going to be so helpful. I feel very hopeful.

I also want to let you know that whoever came up with the idea to name the program “Buddy Family” is a genius. It was so nice to tell our son that we are getting a Buddy Family rather than a respite family. It makes all the difference. He was very excited to meet them and really enjoyed hanging out with them. The name itself I think makes a huge difference for kids who have been sent to respite in the past when they’re “being bad.”

Learn more about becoming a Buddy Family


About Me Sami joined Ampersand Families as a Family Support and Education Specialist in May 2021. She is passionate about working with parents and families and honored to join the Ampersand Families team. Sami earned her BS in Early Childhood Special Education, with a minor in Psychology, from the University of Minnesota Duluth. Throughout her undergraduate studies, she worked with children in day cares, and in low-income housing centers. She also spent many years working as a Personal Care Assistant (PCA) for children with disabilities. Sami has always been passionate about working with youth. Read More

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