Family Finding

Update October 2018


Practice Strategies for Lifelong Connections
The integration of the original 6 Practice Strategies and the philosophy and 4 strategies of Lifelong Connections has resulted in principle-based practice approach called Practice Strategies for Lifelong Connections. The original 6 practice strategies focused on the “front end” of practice, specifically intake, assessment and decisions related to children coming into care. They embed family centered and strengths-based practice early into the assessment process through slowing down and critically thinking through decisions, involving parents as active partners and engaging extended family and natural supports early in the process of safety planning for children and youth…

Practice Strategies for Lifelong Connections pptx
Practice Strategies for Lifelong Connections is a principle-based practice approach under the Child Intervention Practice Framework that includes 10 practice strategies focusing on promoting safety, well-being, and connections, from intake to file closure and supports critical thinking in decision making, creating and maintaining connections, and thoughtful transition planning…

4 Areas of Connection
Through consultation with stakeholders, 4 key areas where strong relationships are critical were identified. They describe how strong lasting relationships support overall well-being and safety of children and youth.  These key areas focus on the importance of human relationships within a family and community context and guide creating and maintaining meaningful connections for children and youth to people who love them unconditionally. The 4 areas of connection expand our understanding of permanency for the children, youth and families we all work with, moving the focus beyond just legal permanence. These connections are established and maintained through collaboration, critical thinking and intentional planning for children and youth.

Frequently asked Questions: Practice Strategies for Lifelong Connections – Caregivers

Family Finding – Caregivers
Family Finding is an approach that seeks to build and maintain a natural support network for children and youth disconnected from their home and community.  It helps children and youth in care connect or reconnect with, create, and maintain relationships with adults who are important to them.  These people can include parents or guardians, siblings, past caregivers, extended family members, adult siblings from previous placements, teachers, daycare providers, or anyone else they have had significant relationships with in the past.  These relationships are important for children’s well-being, allowing them to know who their family is and where they come from, to know their cultural or religious heritage, and to establish supportive connections into their adulthood…

Signs of Safety®An Overview for Alberta
Signs of Safety is an approach to Child Intervention that was developed by Child Intervention staff to enhance child safety and uses professional social work concepts such as strengths-based and solution-focused methods and integrates them with the family’s expertise and cultural knowledge. It encourages a balanced and rigorous exploration of danger or harm as well as indicators of safety and focuses on risk assessment and safety planning...

Update June 2018


4-day Boot Camp Lethbridge June 5 – 8, 2018

4 day Boot Camp – Oct 2 -5, 2018 Grande Prairie

Training Information
Prerequisite for training opportunities available for viewing
Lighting the Fire of Urgency: Introduction to Family Finding and Importance of Family Connectedness

Family Finding Boot Camps are four-day immersion workshops for staff, supervisors and managers learning the philosophy, framework and skills of Family Finding practice. Participants work in small and medium sized teams, actually practicing Family Finding for children and youth who are in out-of-home care or supporting families who are new to child welfare, using their own files. Participants leave the immersion experience having: – learned and practiced the skills of Family Finding, – developed a sense of confidence in their use of the skills, and most importantly – gained the understanding that Family Finding for most youth and families takes less than 20 hours and can be completed in weeks rather than months. Family Finding is an evidence-based six-step model that responds to those involved in the child intervention system. Research on a variety of Family Finding projects has demonstrated that Family Finding works to significantly increase the number of relatives and other important known adult connections for children in care and leads to an average of five to eight offers of help from these adults. Family Finding has proven to be an effective program for finding and engaging relatives and significant adults for children required to come into care to maintain their safety. Family Finding strategies align with the Child Intervention Practice Framework and formally complement the Signs of Safety® approach to child intervention currently being implemented in Alberta. Learn how the Family Finding connection processes will augment your current practice and assist you in connecting children with significant family members.

Additional related ALIGN Videos
Welcome & Opening Prayer
Kim Spicer – 6 CIPF Principles
Kevin Campbell Part 1
Kevin Campbell Part 2
Kevin Campbell Part 3
Kevin Campbell Part 4

Scroll Down Page to See Recommended Related Resources from January 2018 Family Finding Training

3-day Intensive Skill Builder: Leading a Family Meeting
Kevin Campbell has developed a three-day intensive training to expand and sharpen the skills of intervention workers in family meeting facilitation and participation. Child Intervention staff will leave the training with an expanded tool kit of strategies, techniques and activities to create powerful family and community meetings that move planning and decision-making teams to action on behalf of children and their families. This training does not require prior completion of the Family Finding Boot Camp to attend. This training is open to Child Intervention Staff (regional and DFNA). Please register through Ole.

The boot camp training is available to Child Intervention staff (regional and DFNA) and contracted agency staff. For Child Intervention staff (regional and DFNA)-registration occurs through Ole and for contracted agency partners registration occurs through Align. This foundational training in the Family Finding process is suitable for Child Intervention staff from front line workers to senior managers. Staff that are interested in the training need to ensure they have completed the prerequisite training noted above as well as have their supervisor’s approval prior to registering for the sessions.

Further information for each session including venue location will be sent to registered participants closer to the event dates.

Please bring an active case of a child you are worried about for use in the small group work and exercises. DO NOT bring the paper file- just the information in your head or cheat sheet summary of the family, concerns, history, people involved etc- specific dates and tombstone information should not be needed. It is an expectation that all in attendance will maintain the confidentiality of all family details discussed though the learning. If you are not currently involved in active casework you will be able to work with others at your table who are.

A lunch will be provided, including vegetarian options. Other dietary restrictions or needs, however, are the responsibility of the individual.

We look forward to seeing you there. See all ALIGN Training Events Here


Update January 2018 – Recommended Resources

Center on the Developing Child Harvard University
Toxic Stress Effects on the body
Applying Brain Science to Child Welfare
The Science of Resilience
Tipping the Scales: The Resilience Game

Turney K and Wildeman C. Mental and Physical Health of Children in Foster Care. Pediatrics. 2016;138(5): e20161118
Mental and Physical Health of Children in Foster Care Kristin Turney, Christopher Wildeman November 2016, VOLUME 138 / ISSUE 5

On Being
How Trauma and Resilience Cross Generations Rachel Yehuda

Campbell Collaboration
The health and well-being of children placed in kinship care is better than that of children in foster care 2016

American Academy of Pediatrics
Unique Needs of Children in Kinship Care


Behavioral Epigenetics
Moshe Szyf gives a keynote presentation on behavioral epigenetics during the opening conference of the research group “Genetic and Social Causes of Life Chances

The Body Keeps the Score
Dr. Bessel van der Kolk, one of the world’s leading experts on developmental trauma, explains how our long-term health and happiness can be compromised by prior exposure to violence, emotional abuse, and other forms of traumatic stress.

Gathering Wisdom for a Shared Journey VIII Keynote Presentation – Terry Cross
Terry Cross – Founder of the National Indian Child Welfare Association now serving as senior advisor. He is the author of Positive Indian Parenting and co-authored Towards a Culturally Competent System of Care, published by Georgetown University. He has 40 years of experience in child welfare, including 10 years direct practice.

Social and Behavioral Determinants of Toxic Stress
David Williams of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health looks at the social and behavioral factors–including socioeconomic status, race, discrimination, and place–that play a role in triggering toxic stress for children and adults. He also discusses what effective solutions for reducing toxic stress and improving health

Gabor Mate: Attachment, Disease, and Addiction
Jack Shonkoff Harvard University Leveraging the biology of Adversity to Strengthen the Foundations of Healthy Development
Bruce McEwen Rockefeller University The Brain an Body on Stress
Impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on Health Across the Life Course—Core Story: The ACE Study

Update September 2017

Children  Services will be bringing Kevin Campbell the Family Finding  trainer across the province in 2018,  to provide  a 4 day boot-camps again and mentoring to help build provincial capacity. We are currently discussing how to bring youth and lifelong networks to Alberta with Kevin. Kevin will also be facilitating 2 workshops at the ALIGN annual conference in January. Kevin will be providing 2 – 1 day workshops for Caregivers in Edmonton January 24th and Calgary January 23th.  The Family Finding is an excellent approach to bringing Trauma Informed  knowledge into practice, aligning with the Signs of Safety and building resiliency in children through building  life long networks.

Kevin Campbell is an internationally known youth permanency expert, founder of the Center for Family Finding and Youth Connectedness and developer of the Family Finding model. This model is a set of strategies now utilized throughout the United States and Canada to establish lifelong supports for children and youth in care.  The Family Finding approach is aligned with the CIPF principles, particularly those of Preserve Family and Connection. Family Finding is also formally connected with the Signs of Safety® practice approach.
For further information on Family Finding, please contact: Kimberly Spicer, Manager, Preservation Supports Human Services, CFS 11th fl Sterling Place Phone: 780 643-9429

Family & Children’s Services of the Waterloo Region are proud to have partnered with Kevin Campbell and Seneca Family of Agencies to be the Canadian Portal of Family Finding. Their goal and commitment is to bring Family Finding across the country and they now offer a variety of services and options to meet all of your training needs.

Click Here for a list of training topics offered by Kevin Campbell and/or Family & Children’s Services.

ALIGN Videos of Family Finding Presentations
Welcome & Opening Prayer
Kim Spicer – 6 CIPF Principles
Kevin Campbell Part 1
Kevin Campbell Part 2
Kevin Campbell Part 3
Kevin Campbell Part 4

Also See
ALIGN Resource Bulletin Family Finding

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