So, what is the 30 Days to Family® program? We know that every child entering the foster care system has a family and community. We as workers just need to find them! This is not always an easy endeavor, but the 30 Days to Family® program uses exhaustive and creative search efforts for family finding. Goals of the program are to find at least 80- 150 relatives and kin for a child or sibling group. Of those, the 30 Days to Family® Specialist will work hard to narrow down what types of support family can provide and who would be best suited for placement of the children. The Specialist will do home visits, submit background study requests, and assist with emergency foster care licensing paperwork so that 3-5 viable relative or kin placement options can be identified for the children within the first 30 days of the child entering foster care.
Can you really find 80+ relatives and kin? Yes! The 30 Days to Family® program utilizes a vast array of people search tools, including tools used for governmental searches and social media deep dives. Our 30 Days to Family® Specialist have small case loads and therefore their energy can be utilized in highly focused relative and kin search efforts. They use creative methods and out of the box thinking to locate the hard-to-reach relatives that deserve to know a child they love needs support and placement.
How can relatives or kin care for kids on such short notice? Unlike nonrelative families more traditionally licensed for foster care, relatives we reach out to in the 30 Days to Family® program are stepping up to support children at the drop of a hat. We help families prepare for this unexpected journey by referring them to culturally responsive community resources. We ask the family members who are unable be a placement resource for the children, what types of support they would be able to provide. Family members are oftentimes more than willing to help the relative/kin placement by providing transportation for the children, taking them to get their hair done or church, and bringing over meals. This network of support is crucial for the success of the placement and keeping kids connected to the people that love them.
The 30 Days to Family® program is just one way Ampersand Families is working harder towards our commitment to racial equity and keeping kids connected to their community. It’s another layer of prevention, so that kids do not have to wait in shelters, beds to open in nonrelative foster homes, or find themselves suddenly separated from their siblings. While their parents undergo the hard work necessary to bring their children home, kids have a right to a safe home with familiar faces, people who belong to their family system.