MVCFS believes that children and non-minor dependents deserve lifelong nurturing relationships provided by dedicated supports such as family members or other significant support persons who can meet the child’s specific needs. We also recognize that youth in foster care face a number of barriers to achieving permanency. Our efforts to identify and secure permanency are continuous and integrated into all stages of our involvement with children and families.
Family engagement is vital to successful client outcomes and permanency, however, family is not limited to biological relations. Family may apply to any significant support person in a child’s life. We engage clients and families and their supports upon intake and continuously throughout placement. Through our family-finding process, our social workers seek out family members and community supports. Family engagement is strength-based, SOGIE savvy, and culturally respectful.
The family-finding process focuses on identifying appropriate family and support members. For example, families who are LGBTQIA affirming and other cultural and/or religious persons to help support the cultural/religious commitments of clients and families. We also focus on finding family and supports for Native American children who belong to the same tribes and communities or are members of the larger Native American community.
When seeking permanency options, social workers strive to place children with immediate family whenever possible. Should those efforts fail, we work to identify permanency options that reflect the unique values of the children’s tribal cultures and are best able to assist them in establishing, developing, and maintaining political, cultural, and social relationships with their tribes and communities.
Transition planning begins at the time of placement and is a continuous process with the ongoing goal of permanency and home-based care for every child. Transition planning reflects the Child Family Team’s (CFT) preferences, needs, and choices. Transition plans are an integral part of Needs and Services. Client Plans are initiated within 30 days of placement at the initial case conference/CFT meeting, identifying where children will be transitioning and the support person(s) available.
MVCFS has a strategic partnership with Environmental Alternatives (EA) a Foster Family Agency (FFA) to help facilitate smooth transitions to resource families, transitional housing, or independent living programs. Children may transition home to their biological families, to resource families, to transitional housing, to independent living, and possibly adoption.