What We Do

Our Mission & Vision

The mission of Ampersand Families is to recruit and support permanent families for older youth, and to champion practices in adoption and permanency that restore belonging, dignity and hope.

Our vision is that every young person whose life has been disrupted by trauma, abuse, neglect and child welfare intervention will be restored to a safe, permanent family with an urgency that honors the brevity of childhood.

Some Key Things We Believe

  • No child or youth should have to earn the right to belong to a family.  The community should not allow any youth to emancipate from the child welfare system without a legal connection to a family.
  • Older youth from the child welfare system are adoptable, whether or not they “look ready”. They become more ready for adoption as they participate in the decisions being made about their own lives.  Healing happens in the context of relationship; each day permanency is denied is a day of potential healing lost.  Forever.
  • Families who have the desire and ability to adopt teens are to be treated with respect by child welfare professionals.  Respect is demonstrated by assuring that families are adequately prepared and supported from their initial inquiry until as long after finalization as they wish.  Respect is demonstrated by clear, honest and proactive communication with families at every step in the adoption process.
  • Youth currently in residential treatment or correctional settings are more motivated to successfully complete their programs if they have a committed, engaged family supporting them and awaiting their move home.  This is one of the best times to match a youth with an adoptive family because of the plethora of supportive resources and professional training/support available to both youth and parent.
  • Birth families matter. Youth should be supported in their efforts to create affirming ongoing birth family relationships. Birth and adoptive families can and do build relationships for the benefit of the child they both love.
  • We expect parents to make an unconditional commitment to the youth they adopt.  Therefore, it is only fair that we make an unconditional commitment to our families. As long as Ampersand Families exists, we will be here with free services for our parents — no matter how long after the adoption and no matter whether public money is available to cover our costs.

Our Focus is 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. We are a resource for youth, families and professionals seeking to promote permanent relationships between teens who have experienced trauma and significant caring adults.

We are Leaders in The Field

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

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

Why choose Ampersand Families?

Ampersand Families is important to me because when the work we do at the Crisis Nursery does not keep a child out of the child welfare system, Ampersand Families fulfills the promise of returning that child to a family. This is important to me from the standpoint of reducing the cost to society but even more so, […]

Al, Former Board Chair

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