Ampersand Families has a strong commitment to keeping kids in care connected to family, community, and culture.
Kids do better in foster care when they have the support of people they love while they cannot be home with their parents. Relatives and kin make up the natural support system for that child and we honor their knowledge of their family system.
As adoptive parents, we could not be more grateful to Ampersand Families for the role they have played. Ampersand’s work with youth in care and foster care and adoptive families is nothing short of remarkable.Drew and Jessica Bowman, adoptive parents of a former foster youth
We can assist Relative/Kin families in many ways:
Talk with a Child Welfare Professional
Is a child you love in foster care? Unsure how to navigate the child welfare system?
We understand that the system has many challenges and can be frustrating. Click the number below to talk to a knowledgeable, understanding professional who can help relatives and kin with the next steps.
Home Studies & Foster Care Licensing
Do you wish to be considered as a placement option for a child you love who is in foster care, and are you a Minnesota resident?
Ampersand Families works with relative/kin families to complete the foster care licensing and home study assessment process. The home study will include thoughtful reflection and interviews with family, background check, home safety check, and training. The first step is to schedule an orientation to learn more.
Resources for Kinship Caregivers
- Kinship Navigation Tool: This tool offers free, unlimited access to information and answers to some of the most frequently asked questions for kinship caregivers in Minnesota.
- LSS Kinship: Support groups and resources geared towards parenting grandchildren and kin.
- Minnesota One-Stop for Communities: Parent mentors who can assist other parents in navigating the child welfare system. All mentors are parents who have experienced the impact of child protection in their lives.
- Minnesota Care Partners: A variety of services from parenting support to mental and chemical health support. Their services are especially geared toward marginalized communities. Link:
- Minnesota Omsbud Office: Can provide advocacy support to low-income and families of color who have experienced challenges and discrimination in the child welfare system. Link:
- Village Arms: Agency assisting African American families who have been impacted by the child welfare system. Can help with parent coaching, court advocacy, and other supportive services. Link:
- Foster Adopt MN: Phone and email support for foster and kinship families; can connect families with licensing training, therapists and many other supports.
- Legal Support: Foster Adopt Minnesota Hosted List of Attorneys and Legal Support
Caregivers looking to adopt must complete approximately 24 hours of training.
This includes both agency-specific education as well as trainings through external partners. These hours are built into the process and do not need to be sought out alone.
Caregiver Roundtables & Retreats
Caregiver Roundtable is our support group for Ampersand-affiliated adoptive, pre-adoptive, and kinship caregivers.
The group meets the fourth Thursday of every month from 6-7:30, usually at our Roseville offices. Family retreats take place three times per year in various locations around Minnesota. Both are organized as time for caregivers and youth to connect with other families and build community.
At Caregiver Roundtable, caregivers are invited to share their experiences and seek support from other caregivers. While adults meet, youth participate in an activity supervised by Ampersand Families staff. Dinner is provided to all who attend.
Family Retreats are an opportunity for families to develop relationships with each other in a less formal setting. Retreats can last a single day or a full weekend and can include a variety of activities including family camp activities, outdoor games, guest speakers, care packages, and more.
Ampersand Families has partnered with the Institute to Transform Child Protection at Mitchell-Hamline School of Law to provide a FREE legal clinic for relative and kin families.
Learn about your rights as family members, hear from knowledgeable professionals on foster care licensing process, and get an opportunity to consult with attorneys experienced in child welfare cases. Legal clinics take place 3-4 times per year, and all clinics are held in a virtual format. Check our Events page for information on upcoming clinics.
Parent Consultation Supports
Ampersand Families provides our pre-adoptive families and the pre-adoptive families of youth we are connected to through Child Specific Recruitment with proactive parent consultation around the time a youth/sibling group transitions into the home. We contract with some highly regarded adoption and trauma competent therapists for this service, through generous funding from the MN Department of Human Services.
We hear from most, if not all families, that it’s really difficult to access useful parent support, and many parents reach out after things have already gotten really hard. By then, therapists have waiting lists and the process to get started is overwhelming. They wish they had gotten personalized consultation and guidance on things like attachment, handling emotional and behavioral challenges, and navigating the stresses of parenting kids who have experienced trauma. Parent Consultant Support sessions allow us to connect our families with the type of proactive, adoption competent support they deserve.
The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics™
The Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics™ (NMT) is a comprehensive trauma assessment that identifies the impact of childhood trauma on a young person’s developing brain and offers the building blocks for individualized care.
Developed by the Child Trauma Academy, the NMT™ helps identify and prioritize areas of brain development that may need more support and makes concrete suggestions for future interventions.
Buddy Family Program
Buddy families are people from the community trained and committed to supporting a pre-adoptive or adoptive family for at least one year.
Minnesota Youth Voice (MYVoice)
MYVoice is the youth leadership program of Ampersand Families.
MYVoice welcomes all Minnesota young people ages 12-22 who have lived experience in foster care and/or adoption. Participants meet to plan virtual social events; get paid to create art and do book reviews; can request free art materials and journals; and can be paid to present at advocacy events such as focus groups and panels.
To get involved, contact us:
To learn more:
Heart Gallery Family Photos
Through the Heart Gallery program, we are also offering Family Photo Sessions to the families we work with at Ampersand Families who are in the pre-adopt placement, finalization, or post-finalization processes. Our hope is for these photo sessions to provide these families with cherished photos that capture their new family.
Contact Teiana for more information or to schedule.