Family Connections | Amara

Family Connections

Working as a team

When parents and foster parents build relationships with each other, they work together to make the foster care experience as stable and supportive as possible for everyone involved. Through this program, parents and foster parents have the chance to meet, talk about how to best care for the parent’s child, and build a relationship to increase contact between kids and their parents. Together, parents and foster parents can make sure that the child they both care about is best supported while in foster care.

Family Connections: Yuvia's Story

By the time Yuvia came to stay with Yvette she had already been in multiple foster homes. But this was different. Yuvia’s mother, Dezaray, and foster parent Yvette developed a support system with and for each other in order to be there for Yuvia. Like Yuvia says, “When we’re all here together, I think: family, family, family is HERE.”

Goals

  • Provide easier transitions into foster care
  • Make it faster and more likely for families to be reunited
  • Support child and family wellbeing
  • Strengthen relationships
  • Increase caregiver and parent engagement

 

Who’s Involved?

  • Parent – Parent of a child who is currently in foster care
  • Caregiver – Foster parent or relative caring for the parent’s child while experiencing foster care
  • Parent Ally – A parent who has successfully navigated the child welfare system and can coach other parents involved in child welfare through the steps to reunify with their child
  • Caregiver Mentor – Current or former foster parent who has had relationships with parents while fostering children

 

How It Works

Step one: Parents and caregivers each work with a peer mentor through the process. Parents are matched with a Parent Ally. Caregivers are matched with a Caregiver Mentor.

Step two: Parents and caregivers talk with their mentors in preparation for the first Connections Meeting

Step three: The Parent Ally and Caregiver Mentor work together to lead a Connections Meeting where the parent and caregiver will meet for the first time. This discussion will include:

  • Introductions and information about each other/each other’s family
  • Update on child/ren (from the caregiver to the parent)
  • Information about the child’s routine (from the parent to the caregiver)
  • Information about what the child dislikes and likes (from the parent to the caregiver)
  • Family traditions and culture
  • Plan for communication and relationship building

Step four: Parents and caregivers talk with their mentors after the initial meeting to receive additional support.

 

Interested in Participating?

The Family Connections program is currently being piloted in King County’s Family Treatment Court. We hope to expand to three additional counties this year. For more information about the program or to get started, visit www.fcpwa.org or email info@fcpwa.org 

Support this Program

The Family Connections program model was created in collaboration with other local nonprofit and governmental organizations. Believing in the power of this approach to transform and improve the experience of families impacted by foster care, Amara has invested in making this program possible. We are continuing to seek funding to expand this program to multiple counties across the state. Join us in realizing our vision by making a gift to support our work today.

Related Stories

Family Connections: Grayson's Story

Katie and Jonathan Biron became foster parents knowing the importance of maintaining relationships between kids and their parents. While fostering Grayson, they formed a close relationship with his biological family who became one large extended family through adoption.

Watch Grayson's Story

A Network of Family

Katie and Caitlin, their daughters and their extended family, have created a constellation of people to share their lives with. “Our family has grown…I feel like our lives have been really enriched, but it was always in the purpose of keeping the girls connected to their people. That has felt like we’ve forged really amazing relationships with their birth families and it’s been incredible.”

Watch Caitlin and Katie's Story

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