Who Are the Youth?

Ampersand Families works specifically with youth age 10 and older and sibling groups with at least one member who is that age.

These youth tend to:

  • Be youth of color
  • Have experienced significant trauma, abuse and/or neglect;
  • Have behavioral, developmental, physical and/or mental health challenges as a result of abuse and/or neglect
  • Struggle with attachment and family relationship skills
  • Be fearful or mistrusting of adults and do not think adults keep youth safe
  • Have been in foster care, group homes or residential treatment for more than a year
  • Have relationships with members of his or her birth family and need support to maintain
  • Be strong-willed survivors deserving of a permanent, safe, loving and unconditionally committed family.

You might be surprised to hear…

It is estimated that 21% of foster care youth have been, or could be, diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) from their experiences prior to and since entering the foster care system.  That number is higher than current estimates for returning war veterans (Pecora et al., 2005)!

We believe that adoption should always be about finding for families for youth (as opposed to youth for families) and so our matching process is deliberate and thoughtful to make sure families are well-prepared and have all the information they need to make good decisions about which youth is the one for whom they can be the best parent.  Our pre-adoption training and post-placement support services are just as thoughtful and personalized. Explore our site to learn more about the adoption processsome of Minnesota’s waiting youth and how you can help.

Why choose Ampersand Families?

I’m a CASA and learning that adoption really is an option for teens in foster care gives me a new perspective on this and how to work with caseworkers and court.

National CASA Conference workshop participant

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