Ampersand Families believes strongly in elevating the voices of youth and those most impacted by the child welfare system.
We do this by providing opportunities for you, as a young person we are working with, to share your stories (if it benefits you), build up and strengthen your leadership skills, and share feedback about how to improve our work with youth within Ampersand Families and the broader child welfare system.
Ampersand Families also believes that adoption should always be about finding families for youth, not finding youth for families.
We ensure there is always space at the table for youth to be part of decisions made about their lives, and we support youth in this work. We will do this by asking you directly what, and who, has been important to you, then following up on what you have shared. We know that youth do best when they’re connected with those they love, and when we work as connectors to nourish these relationships. We strive to be strengths-based and as transparent as possible with youth and potential families, so all know and understand the adoption process and what information is being shared.
What is Child Specific Recruitment?
The job of the Permanency Specialist you are working with is to get to know you, learn what permanency means to you, and then act on that information. We work as part of your team to find supportive and long-lasting connections.
We do this by:
- Getting to know YOU – not just hearing about you from other people
- Learning who is, or has been, important in your life
- Connecting with your relatives and other important people around you
- Learning what permanency means to you now and as you think about your future self
- Centering your voice when meeting with prospective families
- Reaching out to people who have similar interests to you or who can support important parts of you
- Talking with other “workers” that work with families who are hoping to adopt teenagers
- Working on a Lifebook with you
Ampersand Families Child Specific Recruiting Staff
MYVoice (Minnesota Youth Voice)
MYVoice is a youth leadership program by and for Minnesota young people ages 12-22 who have experience in the foster care and/or adoption systems. MYVoice welcomes young people who are living in group homes, residential treatment centers, shelters, foster homes, juvenile detention, with relatives/kin, in adoptive/pre-adoptive homes, and who are living on their own.
Here are some of our programs:
Meet once a month via Zoom for fun, youth-led Virtual Hangouts with young people from all around Minnesota! We also have occasional in-person events.
Create art, get paid! New theme each month. Artworks are shared on the MYVoice website, social platforms, and at events. Payment = $15/artwork, limit $25/month.
Request The Black Foster Youth Handbook, Behind the Mask: For Teen Adoptees, Adulting 101, or some other book from the MYVoice Book List. Write a short review, get paid = $15/review, limit $30/month. Plus, you get to keep the book!
MYVoice Creativity Kits
Request a Writing Kit (includes blank journal and cards) or any one of our Art Kits (watercolors, air dry clay, drawing, friendship bracelet, or acrylics) and we’ll mail it to you!
Advocacy & Systems Change
Get paid to speak on panels, attend focus groups and listening sessions, and share your Lived Experience (LEx) expertise with social workers, policy makers, foster parents, and others!
Paid opportunities to plan events, facilitate meetings, chose MYVoice Interactive themes, and more!
For more information:
MYVoice supports youth-led connection, education, and change.