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Kin-Finding Toolkit

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A white grandmother and her granddaughter take a selfie together at the kitchen table
Logos for the Grandfamilies & Kinship Support Network: A National Technical Assistance Center and the Child Welfare Playbook

Children in care do better when they’re placed with family members or other adults they know and trust. But identifying and connecting with extended family members can be a challenge for foster care programs.

Children can’t have too many adults who care about them. A strong support system of adults supports young people’s resiliency and long-term health and well-being. Yet, most youth enter foster care with more connections than they leave with.

This Kin-Finding Toolkit features promising practices that have been helping child welfare agencies across the country increase their kin placement rates. Every practice comes with the necessary real-world tools, such as sample policy language and forms. Take away new strategies and resources to adapt for your own system or organization. The 20+ practices include:

  • Using an expansive definition of kin
  • Using heart maps
  • Making plans to keep youth connected to all their supportive adults
  • Asking kin you find for more kin
  • Requiring higher-level approval for non-kin placements
  • Learn more about opportunities to receive implementation support, and to share your own kin-finding innovations.

The ideas and materials in this toolkit were compiled from over 35 child welfare agencies across the country.

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