KANSAS: Alone at sixteen, Kevin* ran away shortly after entering foster care. The Special Response Team at Cornerstones of Care was contacted after social services could not locate him. Cornerstones of Care, a nonprofit specializing in family finding, began to gather contact information for Kevin’s family.
Kevin’s social worker shared what she knew about his family: his mother was homeless, and they had contact information for a maternal aunt and grandmother who once cared for one of Kevin’s siblings. This information was immediately entered into the Connect Our Kids technology platform, which broadened their search on social media and other public records. This technology quickly found Kevin’s biological father, paternal grandfather, a second cousin, an uncle, and many other relatives—all of whom live close to one another. It was by contacting his extended family members that they found Kevin.
Kevin’s short experience in foster care taught him to mistrust the system. Still, slowly over time, the family-finding advocates built a relationship with him and offered to share a visual map of his family connections. Kevin was excited to see more than 45 relatives and connected adults who cared about him. This news invested Kevin in building his supportive network map in the Family Connections platform. Before this, Kevin knew very little about his family, but now he sees he has options, including connecting with a father he never knew.
Kevin feels empowered to decide where to live and whom to include in his inner circle. Surprised that he wasn’t so alone in the world, Kevin has begun accepting support and guidance.
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 Kevin? You can today by donating HERE.
*Name has been changed to protect privacy.