KANSAS: Newborn Kai* was abandoned by her parents at the hospital. She was addicted to methamphetamine and was sick with COVID. Her parents were homeless, living out of their car and battling addiction.
After Kai entered foster care in November 2020, the Cornerstones of Care family-finding professionals began to search for connections and discovered Kai’s Native American heritage. When a child is Native American, the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) federal requirements state that these children are to be placed with tribal families.
The Connect Our Kids technology platform quickly identified seven great aunts and uncles and Kai’s maternal grandmother, all with tribal affiliations, who met the ICWA standard for release to a family member. Kai’s maternal grandmother and grandfather belong to different tribes, and an expanded search identified other family members from both tribes. Kai’s network comprises 56 connections who can teach her about her culture.
While connections were found on Kai’s mother’s side of the family, they did not have the resources to care for her. Kai is now safely living with her biological father’s family and close to a large extended family who loves and supports her.
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 Kai? You can today by donating HERE.
*Name has been changed to protect privacy.