In front of a massive crowd on the main stage of RootsTech, the world’s largest family history conference, brought to you by FamilySearch, co-founders Jennifer Jacobs and Jessica Stern of Connect Our Kids told their story and explained how it is helping foster kids connect with their family heritage.
Watch Their Presentation:
Immediately following the presentation, the Connect Our Kids booth was inundated (in a good way) with RootsTech attendees wanting to learn more about the organization.
One after another, we kept hearing the same question: “What can I do to help?” First, we want to say – Thank you! What an overwhelmingly powerful and immediate response to our mission. So, what can you do to help? We’ve asked our COK advisors for their top answers to this question.
- Spread the Word. Do research on your own state foster care statistics and use our template letter to write directly to your state governor in support of Connect Our Kids. Start a letter writing campaign in your state. Ask 5 friends in your state to write a letter, and 5 of their friends, and so on. Although the Connect Our Kids Family Connections tool is free, many social workers and welfare professionals just don’t know about us. We need to nudge our state officials to start utilizing our free family search and engagement platform.
- Follow Us and Share. Believe it or not, social media is a powerful tool for a non-profit. You could spread the word with someone who works in the child welfare space or with someone who can become a donor.
- Donate. We are a team of dedicated developers, researchers, and connectors collaborating with state and private agencies nationwide to create technology solutions that enable support connections and loving families for children in foster care. We need your support. Donate to help us keep going!
I want to help find families for kids in foster care. Can I use the Family Connections tool?
The Family Connections software is a secure cloud-based software platform designed to assist child welfare professionals in quickly building out family trees and support networks for foster and at-risk children and youth. For security and privacy reasons, this tool is not open for public use at this time.
Volunteer to become a Court Approved Special Advocate (CASA)
Court-appointed special advocate (CASA) and guardian ad litem (GAL) volunteers advocate for the best-interests of children who have experienced abuse or neglect or who may be suffering from poverty. Volunteers work with child welfare professionals, educators and service providers to ensure that judges have the information they need to make the most well-informed decisions for each child. There are 939 state organizations and local programs in 49 states and the District of Columbia with 97,900 volunteers nationwide. More volunteers are needed.
CASA and GAL Volunteers go through a background check and training. After the approval process volunteers make a huge impact in the lives of vulnerable children. Connect Our Kids has CASA Volunteers using our family search and engagement platform nationwide.