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Innovation is how we’ll find connection and belonging for all

Connect Our Kids provides freely accessible modern technology to help professionals find loving extended family members and build social capital for vulnerable children and their families.

Technology is a force multiplier!

Connect Our Kids is a technology nonprofit dedicated to helping social workers, lawyers, family recruiters, and CASA/GAL volunteers find supportive family connections and natural support networks for America’s most vulnerable. Our approach uses advanced tech tools to speed up and scale up techniques for finding extended family members and other caring adults. We ease the complexities of family search and engagement – to help create connection and belonging.
The Problem
The Problem: Hundreds of thousands of our most vulnerable need loving families and support networks.

There are more than 100,000 kids who need a permanent, loving family. These children have experienced unimaginable loss and trauma. There are currently 500,000 children in the American foster care system; 20,000 youth age out of this system annually without the security of permanent supportive relationships. Unresolved trauma creates an unstable society.

The Solution
The Solution: Find a place where every child belongs

Knowing family history and experiencing authentic connection and belonging helps heal trauma. Every child has an extended family, cultural community, and network of neighbors, teachers, coaches, and others. Discovering them can be a slow, labor-intensive, manual process.

Our Work
Our Work: Use technology to scale up
We know that relationships with family and others provide a sense of belonging that helps to heal trauma so we applied modern technology to extended family search and engagement. In a world of texting, social media, and hyper-connectedness, it makes sense to help accelerate connections by helping those who help our country’s most vulnerable children.
The Results
The Results: Exponential impact

Connect Our Kids is the most successful technology platform for family search and engagement in the country. Using our technology, child welfare advocates across 44 states make life-changing connections for thousands of children each year.

The Future
The Future: Fast-tracked diligent search efforts

Child welfare professionals use our technology tools to dramatically scale up their family search and engagement efforts and to ensure their work is documented, organized, shared, and secured. We continue to develop tools and training, in partnership with child welfare professionals nationwide, to make things work even better!

How It All Started

We wondered…

If the U.S. military uses advanced technology to keep Americans safe by tracking the bad actors and their networks who pose a threat to national security, could we apply the same technology and techniques to find family and community connections that would keep our most vulnerable children safe?

When Dr. Jennifer Jacobs, then a nuclear physicist and White House fellow, read an article in TIME magazine about the most successful techniques to find permanent, loving families for children in need, she immediately saw the place where national security and child welfare intersect.

At the same time, Jessica Stern, a management professional, was building her own family tree to learn more about why she and her seven siblings were placed in three different foster homes across three different towns. Her discovered family history would lead to healing from childhood trauma while laying a strong foundation to start her own family.

The experiences of our founders were the beginning of Connect Our Kids. By bringing together technologists and child welfare advocates, we create technology-based solutions that help those who help children in foster care. Our platform fills a gap in the system, accelerating the support and caring relationships that change lives and help heal trauma.

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