At inception, Connect Our Kids partnered with the most forward-leaning child welfare professionals in the country and learned their challenges to achieve this goal of connecting kids to extended family members. Often, these professionals are under time constraints, endure bureaucratic hurdles and lack the resources to immediately make the right decision for a child waiting in the foster care system. In partnership with these child welfare professionals, our tech team designed a suite of hi-tech tools to scale up their family search and engagement practices. With our tools below make up the Connect Our Kids Technology Platform. We can change the foster care experience by keeping more children connected to loving family members and activating natural support networks to help them thrive.
As of today, more than 1600 child welfare professionals are using our tech platform.
People Search is a tool that searches publicly available data from over 300 sources and covers over 3 billion people. Social workers, lawyers, family recruiters, and CASA volunteers use this tool to input already known information like the name of a parent to quickly identify other extended family members and potential supporters along with contact information to include physical mailing addresses, email addresses, telephone numbers. People Search takes search time from 7 days to roughly 30 seconds. It’s a robust tool and free to child welfare professionals.
Family Connections is a cloud-based platform that allows users to easily click and drag information about the family surrounding the child and organize it in visually mapped family trees. This innovative platform allows teams of child welfare professionals to share family information, engagement information, track progress, create reports and monitor progress. This powerful tool is currently being used by professionals who have access to family search and engagement programs and it scales up their work by 60%.
What’s even more exciting is this tool is being explored by court systems who work closely with child welfare professionals to keep kids connected to those who can love and support them during challenging times.
Engagement Center is a tool designed to make family engagement effortless. When child welfare professionals begin to reach out to the extended family to notify them of a child in the government’s custody, they often send letters via the U.S. postal service, send emails, make phone calls, and send private messages over social media platforms. Currently, the Engagement Center provides free outreach templates written by family search experts who have years of experience in reaching out and engaging families of a child in need of immediate support. These templates include phone scripts, sample emails and letters. Thanks to our funders and contributors, our Family Engagement Center is an ever expanding library of free templates and resources for best practices.
Connect Our Kids Mobile App is a quick and easy way to search for and update data while working in the field. We designed this APP because professionals have confided that critical information has been misplaced or lost when transported on paper from the field to the office. This free app is available on both iPhones and Androids.
Connections Matters Academy is a trauma-informed video series that helps youth ages 14-26 learn about trauma, how their trauma affects their brains, their bodies, and how they can heal their trauma by building and maintaining positive and healthy relationships. This content has been developed to help youth better understand their situation and learn how to trust themselves as they prepare to use our Family Connections tool alongside a trusted adult. This academy is designed by trauma experts alongside a team of former foster youth to prepare youth for a successful adulthood.
Our partner organizations know there is a loving family and support network for every child in need which is why we give (not sell) our innovative yet user-friendly technology to child welfare professionals all across the country. Our #1 goal is to support child welfare professionals in finding permanent nurturing environments for children to thrive.