Family Finding

The information in this program outline is provided by the program representative and edited by the CEBC staff. This program has been reviewed by the CEBC in the following Topic Areas:

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About This Program

Target Population: Children and youth (birth through young adulthood), who have been disconnected from their families by virtue of placement outside of their home, community, and kinship network.

For children/adolescents ages: 0 – 21

For parents/caregivers of children ages: 0 – 21

Brief Description

The Family Finding model establishes a lifetime network of support for children and youth who are disconnected or at risk of disconnection through placement outside of their home and community. The process identifies family members and other supportive adults, estranged from or unknown to the child, especially those who are willing to become permanent connections for him/her. The program also keeps contact with the youth on a weekly basis who are provided with an update on progress, assessed for support and safety needs, and consulted about key decisions where appropriate.

Upon completion of the process, youth have a range of commitments from adults who are able to provide permanency, sustainable relationships within a kinship system, and support in the transition to adulthood and beyond. Keeping safety at the forefront and using a family-driven process, families are empowered to formulate highly realistic and sustainable plans to meet the long-term needs of children and youth. Child outcomes may include increased reunification rates, improved well-being, greater placement stability, transition out of the child welfare system, decreased re-entry rates, and stronger sense of belonging for children.

Program Goals:

The goals of the Family Finding model are to:

  • Support foster youth to develop meaningful and enduring connections with adults who will support them across their lifespan.
  • Ensure safe and stable family-based living arrangements for all youth with dependency needs. For youth in out-of-home care due to protection needs, ensure a timely and permanent exit from the formal service system through the development of a resilient and comprehensive network of supportive adults.
  • Support youth in developing a healthy sense of identity and regain dignity as well as providing family members with the opportunity to meet the needs within their family system. Enable young adults emerging from care to live safely and productively within their communities.
  • For individuals with lifetime care needs, increase connectedness, decrease dependence on the formal service system, and enhance family-driven decision making.
  • For all individuals, prevent recidivism within or between formal service systems, including prevention of youth “graduation” into the adult correctional system.

Contact Information

Jonica Little
Phone: (510) 899-4399

Date Research Evidence Last Reviewed by CEBC: July 2014

Date Program Content Last Reviewed by Program Staff: October 2017

Date Program Originally Loaded onto CEBC: May 2012