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After 18 Different Homes, Teen Discovers Over 50 Relatives

KANSAS/HAWAII: Little was known about Iolana’s* family because her mother cut ties with her family and community. By the time Iolana was 15, she had lived in 18 different placements in a year and a half.

For children like Iolana, abrupt and repeated disruptions in their environment and relationships can be as traumatic as the situations from which they were removed. A nonprofit organization specializing in family search and engagement used the Connect Our Kids technology platform to try to learn more about Iolana’s family. This specialist identified more than 62 connections, including 50 family members. She immediately began making phone calls and followed up with family members who expressed interest in Iolana’s well-being.

Once connections were established, the specialist shared with Iolana her Family Connection’s genogram, illustrating her family tree. She was filled with joy and amazement to learn about the number of relatives she hadn’t even known existed. Iolana has bonded with her aunts in Hawaii, and they are beginning to develop a lasting relationship through their phone conversations.

Connect Our Kids is a non-profit dedicated to leveraging technology to find families, build connections, and create a community for children in the foster care system. Want to help more children like Iolana? You can today by donating HERE.

*Name has been changed to protect privacy.

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