Kin Link is an innovative program that seeks to preserve and support family connections for kids while they are in care.
Research shows that kids have better outcomes and higher rates of reunification when living with relatives while they are in foster care. For more research outcomes see this document on Rethinking the Power of Family Involvement from The Institute for Child Welfare Innovation (PDF).
We work with partner counties to provide many specialized services for youth who have entered the child protection system including:
Intensive Relative/Kin Search & Engagement
We use the 30 Days to Family® model developed by the Foster and Adoptive Care Coalition in St. Louis, MO. When family placement is not identified when a child first comes into care, Kin Link Specialists step in to do an exhaustive search for family members for potential placement and support. Specialists can also complete a Permanency Kinship Search when a termination of parental rights is being petitioned.
Intensive Licensing & Placement Support
This is a short-term service especially for relatives and kin. Kin Link Specialists work with family and sometimes older youth to support placement and assist with any hurdles to foster care licensing. This may include helping with paperwork, creating customized training plans, assisting with minor home repairs or licensing items, and finding culturally specific resources for youth and family.
Early Family Search
Specialists work closely with child protection workers before court to assist in securing extra family natural support for youth, parent, and/or informal relative placement.
Foster Care Licensing for Relatives/Kin
Kin Link licenses relative/kin families who are being considered for foster care placement or selected by the county for emergency placement of a child.
All Kin Link services are provided at no cost to our partner counties, thanks to funding through our Permanency Support Services contract with MN Department of Human Services.
To find out more about how your county can benefit from these services, contact Kin Link Program Director, Renee Banas.