The Six Steps to Family Finding

Step 1: Discovery

Goal: Create more plans for support and planning.
Practice: Identify at least 40 family members connected to the youth. Connect with adults who have been key supporters of the child or parents. Success is achieved when the family is extensively known.

Step 2: Engagement

Goal: Engage individuals who know the child best or have had an historic connection to the youth.
Practice: Through the use of individualized engagement strategies engage individuals who love the child and enlist their support. Prepare family members for the possibility of working with the child's case staff to make plans around the child's needs.

Step 3: Planning

Goal: Hold meetings with kith and kin connections, case staff, and those who love the youth in order to plan for the successful future of the child.
Practice: Bring identified family members and others who care about the child together to learn more about the young person's essential, lifelong need for support and connection. Participants should be allowed a voice in the process. Challenges will be identified and solutions created. Planning will be done on a "plans fail, our children do not" mentality.

Step 4: Decision Making

Goal: The team with the social worker will make timely decisions that provide the young persons with appropriate levels of affection and belonging that are expected to be enduring.
Practice: The team involved in planning will work with a sense of urgency. The team will be prepared to make informed decisions about the future of the young person and the expected consequences of not having a safe, forever family. The team will be prepared to make key decisions about the future of the child, including their safety, physical and emotional well-being, and belonging in a lifetime family. Teams will meet with the understanding that long term placements without legal permanency is not considered a permanent option

Step 5: Evaluation

Goal: Create an inclusive, individualized, and unconditional plan to achieve legal and emotional permanency has been created with a timeline for completion.
Practice: The team has successfully "foreseen" the liklehood that their plans are safe, stable, and lasting. Adults caring for the child have adequate and lasting support and key relationships for the child will continue.

Step 6: Follow Up

Goal: The team will have supported the child or young person and their family to plan for and access essential formal and informal support.
Practice: The team will actively support children, young people, and caregivers to successfully access services, supports, and key relationships. Teams will emphasize natural and community supports that are most normative and enduring.