We Focus on Older Youth

We are Minnesota’s only nonprofit agency focused solely on meeting the permanency needs of older youth (age 10 years and older) and sibling groups in the child welfare system. In our efforts to keep youth connected to their family, kin, community and culture, we may work with families seeking to be a resource for a relative child under the age of 10.  We are a resource for youth, families and professionals seeking to promote permanent relationships between teens who have experienced trauma and committed adults who will help them heal.  One of five private agencies under contract with Minnesota Department of Human Services (DHS) to provide adoption services to youth under guardianship of the Commissioner or a Minnesota tribe (often referred to as “state wards”), Ampersand Families provides permanency services at no cost to counties or families planning to adopt a Minnesota youth.

We are Leaders in The Field

Ampersand Families provides leadership in Minnesota and nationally to champion policies and practices that expand family and youth participation, community engagement, child welfare systems change and innovative practices in the field of adolescent permanency.

We provide Comprehensive Permanency Services

For Families

Just as we expect families to make an unconditional commitment to the youth they adopt, Ampersand Families makes an unconditional commitment to support parents and youth in building and sustaining their new family — in moments of joy and of heartbreak. We provide all services required for a family to adopt a child under guardianship of the Commissioner of Human Services in Minnesota, at no cost to families:

  • Individual orientation.
  • Pre-adoption training .
  • Home study.
  • Matching and transition planning.
  • Proactive, non-time-limited post-placement support.
  • Resources to assist with birth family contact or involvement.
  • Ongoing training for adoptive and buddy families.

For Youth

  • Permanency reviews.
  • Adolescent-competent preparation and support for permanency.
  • Child-specific recruitment and placement services that emphasize youth participation in the process.
  • Life-book development to engage youth in their own permanency efforts.
  • Support for kin and birth family search as part of permanency planning.

For as Long as they Need it

All families need support. And families who have adopted a young person from the child welfare system can feel especially alone after finalization.  For as long as you want and need support following adoption, Ampersand Families is there.

Our post-finalization services are funded in part by private support of individuals, foundations and other organizations.  Your donation today, will help our families maintain their unconditional commitment to permanency for their adopted teen.

In addition to serving youth and families directly, we offer:

We Reach Out to the Community

The Minnesota Heart Gallery, providing the opportunity for any child or youth awaiting adoption in Minnesota to have the experience of a professional photo shoot.  More than 100 professional photographers, statewide, volunteer their talents to create personality-capturing photos used for recruitment purposes. Youth also receive digital copies of the photos for their own personal use. Minnesota Heart Gallery’s website increases awareness about older youth adoption and aids recruitment of families considering adoption.

We Provide Education and Consultation to Other Professionals

Consultation and customized training for public and private agencies in Minnesota, nationally and internationally.

Explore our site to learn more about:

After you’re done exploring, contact us and let us know how you’d like to help.

Why choose Ampersand Families?

“In my work, I read hundreds of grant requests and get to know many nonprofit organizations.  I can say with certainty that Ampersand Families is special. It’s special because of the youth and families they serve, because of the skills and passion staff bring to their jobs and because of the vision and fortitude of […]

Susan, Foundation Executive Director

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