The Kinnect to Family (KTF) team was invited to give an overview of the program on July 5 by the newly launched Center of Excellence (COE) in Family Finding, Engagement, and Support at the University of California, Davis (UC Davis). The California Department of Social Services launched the COE at UC Davis last fall to provide statewide culturally appropriate training and technical assistance to county child welfare and probation departments and foster families to enhance their practices, policies, and efforts for family finding, support, and engagement. The center will also provide specialized efforts for family finding, support, and engagement to promote the stability and security of indigenous children and families in partnership with federally recognized tribes in California.
The KTF team walked COE officials through the exploration phase they do with counties in Ohio, beginning with core values. They then explored the program implementation process of Exploration-Installation-Initial Implementation-Full Implementation-Sustainability, and reviewed the benefits of KTF’s approach:
- Intensive searching
- Maintain family connection, culture, & identity
- Child-specific services
- Preserve sibling connections
- Expanded natural support network
- Back-up kinship caregivers
- Increased supports &
stability of kinship care
Finally, KTF shared program outcomes with California officials. Kinnect will continue leveraging its expertise by participating in upcoming webinars with the COE as well as a symposium panel later this year.