FamiliesFirst Network is a community-based care provider contracted by the Department of Children and Families in the state of Florida. As a lead agency, FFN is responsible to manage hundreds of children in the foster care system. A subset of these children have a goal of adoption, a termination of parental rights, and no identified family to adopt them. FamiliesFirst Network is using Family-Match to more efficiently and appropriately match waiting children with waiting families.
Prior to using Family-Match, FamiliesFirst Network relied on families reviewing pictures of children eligible for adoption. Families were expected to contact the agency to inquire about children that seemed like a good fit based on photographs of the child and a brief biography describing the child’s temperament, likes, and interests.
The agency reported that this technique, while at times generating many inquiries from hopeful adoptive families, resulted in agency staff reviewing dozens of home studies, ultimately selecting the family they believed would be the best fit. Agency staff reported that this method was inefficient and made it difficult to move “high-utilizing” children into permanency through adoption.
With Family-Match, FFN was able to “flip the script” and equip placement workers (rather than families) to make the first move, contacting a family and leveraging the relational fit score to establish strengths before identifying the areas where the child would need the greatest support. In the 2.5 years FFN has been using Family-Match, they have made over 225 matches and have finalized over 80 adoptions.