Our Story - Today.

April 4, 2019
How Connect Our Kids Is Doing In Building Their Smart Technology and How You Can Help them Succeed in Creating a Better Foster Care Experience
Many people associate foster care as a temporary solution and adoption as a permanent solution. Sadly, those who work in the foster care industry know that foster care is not always temporary for some kids. The United States has 400,000 children in the foster care system and, each year, more than 20,000 kids age out of foster care, never having been adopted or reunited with family.

Can you live with those statistics? We can’t.

Connect Our Kids was established to reinvent the way we handle the placement of foster children by utilizing smart technology that already exists, scaling up the most successful techniques known to family recruiters, and creating a powerful network to empower child welfare professionals to do their real job—help families solve and cope with problems in their everyday lives.

Breaking the Status Quo In Foster Care

Currently, Connect Our Kids is comprised of dedicated volunteers. Together, we plan to to complete the development of the Family Connections tech tool and pilot it first across five states: Ohio, Colorado, Minnesota, Texas, and Virginia. Then we aim to roll out Family Connections across all 50 states -- free of charge.

Our volunteers have teamed up to combine their extensive experience and vast network to revolutionize the foster care experience in America.

Among them are co-founders Jennifer Jacobs, a West Point graduate, nuclear scientist, and former White House Fellow and Jessica Stern, a communications expert who serves on the State Executive Council for Children Services for the State of Virginia.

“Since we began, we have had a lot of success and proud moments like when we were chosen for the Burke & Herbert Washington Capitals Scores for Kids program, and when we won the Innovate for Good Challenge at Upswell last November,” says Jessica Stern. “Those organizations helped us launch our efforts strong, but we still have a lot of work to do.”

Our tool will help social workers place foster kids into loving families and safe homes using three components: family tree building (identifying extended family members similar to Ancestry.com), people search (identifying contact information like emails, phone numbers, and addresses) and data integrations (similar to Facebook). Social workers and family recruiters across the country have driven the development of our Family Connections tech tool and will continue to shape it through the pilot phase before we deploy the tool nationwide.

“While we plan to give away our family connections tool to social workers and family recruiters, we must complete the development of the pilot software,” says Jacobs. “We’re looking for your support or for the support of people you know.”

Connect with Us ORBecome A Member of Our Founding Circle!

By joining our network, you’ll not only help us get closer to a robust, smart technology that will support those working in the trenches in the child welfare industry, but you’ll be a part of a grassroots organization that aims to create sustainable social change. And as our story continues, you’ll be a part of it.

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