Family Finding™ is the practice of rigorously searching for and engaging extended family members and other supportive adults to establish an enduring support network for children.
It is based on the belief that children need a sense of belonging and unconditional love for health, growth and development. Permanent supportive connections can improve the life outcomes for children and youth involved in child and family services systems.
The goals of Family Finding™ are to:
- Prevent unnecessary family separation and support youth and children who are in care in developing meaningful and forever connections with adults who will love them across their lifespan.
- Ensure safe, stable and healing connections for all youth. For youth in out of home care, ensure the development of a timely permanent plan by developing a resilient and comprehensive network of supportive adults.
- Support youth in developing a healthy sense of identity and provide family members with the opportunity to meet the needs within a family system.
- Enable young adults emerging from care to live safely and productively within their communities.
- For those with lifetime care needs, increase connectedness and decrease dependence on formal service systems.
- Enhance family-driven decision-making.
- Create and honor culturally competent, family-led healing with young people, parents, relatives and all network members. -Family Finding.org
The General Authority engaged with Kevin Campbell, creator of the Family Finding™ model, to deliver two staff training sessions as well as accelerator practice sessions. We have infused the philosophy and practice throughout our Agency and have prioritized our children and youth currently in permanent care. We also incorporate a “family seeing” lens starting from a family’s first involvement with our Agency. Families identify their support networks and children identify safety people. Creating safety networks with families for their children starts by asking the questions:
- Who loves this child?
- Who might love this child?
- Who could learn to love this child?
- Who does the child love?
Children need safe loving permanent connections and families need supportive healing to create this.