The pendulum is shifting in child welfare towards recognizing that given the information and tools, families can and will care for their own. The Kin Link team is on the front lines working to ensure kids stay connected to family, community, and culture every step of the way.
Our work with relatives/kin is guided by federal law through the Family First Prevention Services Act and Minnesota state statute, 260C.221, which give relatives and kin the right to be informed a child in their family is in care and they have the right to be considered for placement.
- We believe each family is special and carries the treasure trove of knowledge on their own family!
- We listen!
- We gather important family information!
- We acknowledge the pain and celebrate the joys alongside the family!
What We Do
Kin Link partners with Minnesota counties in our intensive work to preserve families once child protection becomes involved. We know kids in care have better overall well-being and have better rates of reunification with parents when they go to live with family members who already care about them and share their culture and history. Kin Link Specialists perform an exhaustive search for family members using online search tools, talking to family, and neighborhood visits. Our goal is to quickly restore children to the comforts of their family unit just as soon as a safe, willing, and able family member is identified, thereby reducing the additional trauma kids experience through an out of home placement with people they don’t know.
Family Placement Support
Family members who step up to care for a child in foster care do so without any prior preparation. Unlike traditionally licensed foster parents, they haven’t had any special trauma informed trainings and they haven’t had the time to get their home ready for a kid or their family schedule shifted to support the needs of this child. The job of parenting is tough, especially when family members lack extra resources, or when the child has special needs that require services and additional supervision. Kin Link Specialists take the time to create a plan of natural supports. This plan outlines family members who can assist with things like caregiving, transportation, hair care, or sometimes just encouraging phone calls. Specialists research community and cultural resources specific to the family placement and youth. We even offer family financial assistance which can help make this family placement safe and stable for the child. Kin Link Specialists go the extra mile to make placement easier for the family and are available down the road for families when needs arise.
Click here to find additional resources for Relative and Kin Families
Questions about Kin Link? Reach out to Kin Link Program Director, Renee Banas, firstname.lastname@example.org