Misty Coonce, (she/her) – Program Director

Misty Coonce, (she/her) – Program Director

Misty joined Ampersand Families as Program Director in 2016, after working 6 years at another adoption and foster care agency. In addition, Misty brings experience supporting survivors of domestic violence and providing children’s mental health wraparound services. In all facets of her work, Misty holds hope for people’s inherent ability to heal and grow from the challenges and trials life has brought. She views our role in this work to come alongside youth and families to address barriers in the path, through critical questioning of systems and processes and proactively building in supports so families can thrive.

Misty earned her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2010, and is a Licensed Independent Social Worker in the state of Minnesota. She completed the rigorous Permanency and Adoption Competency Certificate Program through the University of Minnesota’s Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare in 2015.  She continues to live in the twin cities area with her husband and their two children, enjoying the (many) joys, challenges and growth opportunities that come with parenthood. As a family, they enjoy outside adventures including hiking and camping. Misty also has personal experience as an adoptee from the foster care system, growing up in a busy home with her older biological and adoptive siblings.

Centering Voices of Fosters and Adoptees – National Adoption Month

As an adult adoptee who has worked in the adoption and foster care field for more than 10 years now, my feelings on National Adoption Month are complex, conflicting, and ever evolving. Adoption and foster care are wonderful and painful, necessary and unnecessary all at the same time. For this reason, I am so grateful… Read more

Engaging Relatives and Kin throughout the Child Welfare Process

Reaching for Healing, Equity, and Permanency; by Tori Hensley and Misty Coonce Being separated from birth parents or caretakers via the child welfare system is a traumatic experience for children and youth. Too often, being placed in out of home care means that children lose their connection to everything that is familiar to them; their… Read more

Parent Reunification as a Form of Permanency

A couple of years ago a 16 year old young man, was referred to us for child specific recruitment. He had been in foster care since the age of 9, and his parents’ rights were terminated when he was 11. Over those years, he moved between foster homes and group homes. From the records we… Read more

Our Mission

The mission of Ampersand Families is to provide permanency and adoption services to older youth and families who face barriers to equity in child welfare, and to champion systemic changes that advance belonging, dignity and hope.

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