Child Welfare League of America – Innovating to Build a KinFirst Ohio

Kinnect Article Recently Published in Children’s Voice Magazine

The Child Welfare League of America (CWLA) Children’s Voice magazine recently put the spotlight on an article, “Innovating to Build a KinFirst Ohio”, that was written by Kinnect team members, Shannon Deinhart, Stephanie Beleal, and Cass Freeland. The article shines a light on the program values that Kinnect to Family lives and leads with each day:

  • All children have family, and we can find them if we try.
  • All kin have value, regardless of their ability to serve as the primary caregiver of the child.
  • All children deserve to remain connected to their culture, community, and kin.

It is from here that the story unfolds, outlining how Kinnect worked to bring 30 Days to Family®, an extensive family search and engagement program and model, to Ohio. The approach for 30 Days to Family® begins at the point of entry into the foster care system and recognizes that caseworkers lacked the time needed to conduct an extensive family search and engagement effort. The program had specialists that worked in partnership with county agencies to focus on family search and engagement to be completed within 30 days of entry into care.

From this launching point, Kinnect expanded and then evolved the 30 Days to Family® program in Ohio which led to the transformation of Kinnect to Family (KTF). KTF still maintains many approaches of the original program but expands eligibility for the search and engagement services. Different pathways allow specialists to serve families prior to custody removal, to prevent children from entering foster care, and serve young people in permanent custody status. The work of Kinnect to Family has demonstrated that families served are 2.5 times more likely to be cared for by family and are out of foster care in an average of 45 days. An average of 151 connections are identified for every child served, demonstrating the need to think of kin first when it comes to children, young people, and families.

The article continues to share the ways that the program is growing, innovating, and expanding into the field of training others in the field who serve families directly through the Search, Engage, Explore, Kinnect (SEEK) training. 

Kinnect is happy to be working to bring a KinFirst approach to Ohio and appreciates the acknowledgment of the work in the field and through CWLA.

Link to article: