Promoting Relative and Kin Involvement Throughout the Child Welfare Process

We know that involvement with child protection is often a heartbreaking, confusing process for parents and children as well as their family and friends. We help families voice their wishes and hold onto hope during one of the most painful, powerless experiences they will ever have.  If there is a chance that your child/ren will not be returned to live with you, now is the time to start identifying relatives or friends who you would trust to care for them permanently. While the county and court will decide where your child/ren are going to live, relatives and kin (people who your child already has a relationship with) who tell the county they are interested in caring for your child must be considered as placement options.

Too often the communication between the county and relatives gets challenging at this point. Relatives are stressed and often really upset that a beloved child has been removed from their parents. The county has 100s (sometimes 1000s) of children in need of placement, and often lots of relatives calling with lots of questions about the process. Workers are spread thin and simply do not always have the time to give relatives and kin the special attention they deserve. Ampersand Families can help keep positive communication and forward motion happening on behalf of your child/ren – thus increasing the odds that your relatives and kin will get through the home study/background check/foster care licensing process and be fairly considered as a placement option for your children.

The sooner relatives and kin are identified as potential placement options, the sooner they can get moving on the many steps required in order to be seriously considered by the county. If too much time goes by, it’s more likely that your child/ren will be placed with foster or prospective adoptive parents who you do not know. While most foster and adoptive parents are good people who are likely to do a fine job raising your children, there is a chance that your child/ren will lose their family, community and cultural connections if they are placed permanently with someone outside of your family and kin circle. Ampersand Families wants to help prevent this from happening whenever possible.

Consultation, Home Study, and Placement Services

If you want to be considered as a permanent placement option for a relative child, we can help walk you through the process. We know that it can be very confusing. Because counties are often working with 100s (or 1000s) of children in need of placement they sometimes don’t have the capacity to give relatives the 1:1 attention they deserve. It is extremely important for relatives and kin to move quickly if they want to be considered as a placement option. Let us partner with you to keep the process moving forward efficiently.

We can complete the home study assessment and licensing process for relatives & kin. If approved, you would then be available to possibly provide foster care to a relative child and/or to be considered as a ‘permanency resource’- either accepting guardianship (if the parents’ rights are not terminated) or adoption (if the parents’ rights are terminated). Please know that the county and court make the final decision of where the children will go. Having an approved home study does not guarantee that the children will come live with you.

Our job in the home study process is to determine your strengths and needs for parenting the specific relative child/ren you are want to be considered for. We will do our best to learn about the child/ren and to learn about you to see what supports you might need in order to successfully parent them.

In most cases you will need to be licensed to provide foster care. Most of the time this process goes pretty smoothly. Other times it can be complex. Either way, we will partner with you and go the extra mile to assess whether you could be a great resource for a relative child.

THERE IS NO COST TO PARENTS, RELATIVES, OR KIN FOR OUR SERVICES.

Please contact us to talk more about your situation or to set up a meeting.

612-605-1904 or info@ampersandfamilies.org

Why choose Ampersand Families?

Ampersand Families’ work is founded on a simple belief: permanent relationships and belonging are every person’s birthright, and are necessary to a healthy, productive life.

Steve, Board Member

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