Kin Link Program Director
Renee Banas, MA (she/her) is the Program Director for the Kin Link program. She is the daughter of an ‘adopted out’ Anishinaabe mother and is passionate in working on Ampersand Families initiatives in keeping kids connected to family, community, and culture. Renee has a professional background as an educator with a special interest in early childhood development. She has taught and worked with kids across many countries and cultures, from Germany to Egypt, to the Twin Cities. Renee is committed to ensuring kids are safe and thriving through her continued work in empowering and strengthening families.
During her tenure at Ampersand Families, she has worked with many resilient and tenacious relative/kin families hoping to be placement options for their loved ones. In her current role she supports her team in early and exhaustive family search and engagement, so that kids can stay connected to the people they love. Renee is committed to advocating for child welfare reform and is an active voice for QPI-MN and in committees advocating for rights of kinship families.
Away from the office Renee enjoys being outdoors spending time with her family, hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, watching baseball, or futzing around the garden. On bad weather days she can usually be found curled up with her fluffy kitty, a good book, and a cup of coffee in hand.