Ampersand Families turns 15 this year! And like most 15-year-olds, we’re growing and changing.
Our agency was born of a passion for change – deep systemic change that would prevent older youth in foster care from aging out of the system without supportive adult relationships. That passion is authentic as our co-founder, Michelle Chalmers, herself aged out of care in the 1980s.
Michelle and co-founder Jen Braun created what has become one of the most inclusive, innovative, anti-racist, youth-centered permanency/adoption agency in our region. You can read more about Michelle and Jen’s visionary work here.
Today, we’re honored to have helped more than 500 youth across the state of Minnesota join or rejoin safe, loving, permanent families and relationships. And while we still work with older youth and teens in foster care, now we’re working upstream too, keeping kids just entering care stay connected to their first families and cultures and reducing the odds they’ll get lost in the system.
Like other 15-year-olds, we’re building new skills, among both our staff and the families we serve. Our staff regularly attend trainings on mindfulness, music therapy, trauma, anti-racism, and other topics in so they can better support our youth and families. New this year, we’re also providing anti-racism training for our transracial adoptive parents.
And, we’re growing. That means we’re hiring! Please check out open opportunities here.
There’s an expression we hear a lot from families, even those who faced huge barriers to adoption and spent years fighting the system. It’s fitting for this time in our evolution as an agency, despite the growing pains:
If we had it to do it all over again, we would!