Every time a child relocates they lose an average of 10 relationships. Imagine what it’s like for a child in foster care who moves multiple times and is placed with different caretakers along the way.
The Life Long Links Program conducts searches for, and interviews of, family members and other important people to ensure that foster children have continuity in relationships, information about their families, and long-term connections for the future.
The program locates, connects, and engages family and other important people to children and youth who do not live at home, in order to develop supportive relationships, placement options, and life-long connections. It is based on the conviction that all children in care should have a network of natural support. A major goal is for our children to hear and feel “I love you” every day now and into the future.
Life Long Links Specialist volunteers support CASA staff and Advocates in the Dependency and Neglect program. Activities may include:
- Family tree and connections research (review of case files and other documents, public records searches, use of social media). Training and support is provided for public records searching.
- Outreach to found relatives and other significant supportive adults through calls and letters.
- Interviews of relatives and other significant connections to gather information the ascertain interest in supporting a child.
- Gathering of important information: timelines, family stories and photos, social history, medical information, contact lists and family trees.
- Participation in family and/or team meetings as needed.
- Finding ways for important people to support a youth or child in care and supporting those connections being made and maintained.
The time commitment for a Life Long Links volunteer is between 12 – 20 hours a month. For additional information on Life Long Links volunteer opportunities call 447-9898 x1032.
See the interview with Life Long Links Program Manager Jill McCormick: