Our Mission & Vision
The mission of Ampersand Families is to provide permanency and adoption services to older youth and families who face barriers to equity in child welfare, and to champion systemic changes that advance belonging, dignity and hope.
Our vision is that every young person whose life has been disrupted by trauma and subsequent 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.
Explore our site to learn more about:
- Our Values — what’s that “&” about, anyway?
- Who’s on our staff and our board.
- All the ways you can help — right now.
- What your donation will mean for teens awaiting adoption.
- Our annual reports and financials.
- Our latest blog posts.
After you’re done exploring, contact us and let us know how you’d like to help.