Ohio first state to implement family mapping tool technology to connect kids in foster care with their forever families

R-H Staff

COLUMBUS — Ohio Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Matt Damschroder today announced that Ohio is the first state to implement two technology tools from Connect Our Kids.

The tools will help children services professionals connect Ohio’s 3,100 foster youth with their forever family. Husted and Damschroder were joined by partners from InnovateOhio, Kinnect, the Dave Thomas Foundation, and Ohio CASA.

The Family Connections tool is a genogram or a digital diagram that illustrates an individual’s family members. Professionals can use the desktop or mobile app versions to build family trees, find family contact information and engage family and supporters of children in foster care. The People Search tool uses public information from over 300 sources and covers over 3 billion people to exponentially expand the pool of potential kinship caregivers, far beyond just those in current contact with the child’s parents.

“Using this technology is data sharing at its best to help find forever homes for kids in foster care. It’s going to save children’s services professionals time and resources,” said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. “Gone are the days of them having to map out family trees and contact information on their own. This technology does it for them, and then makes it widely available to other professionals.”

“The Ohio Department of Job and Family Service facilitates many programs to help children find their forever home,” said Director Damschroder. “From our ‘30 Days to Family’ program, which focuses on placement of kids soon after they enter the foster system, to our Wendy’s Wonderful Kids partnership, which helps older youth in the system, technology can help us be more successful in almost every way.”

Children services transformation has been a top priority for the DeWine-Husted administration; programs and technology such as Connect Our Kids, 30 Days to Family, Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, and Ohio CASA are playing a significant role in reforming the foster care system and bettering the lives of Ohio’s most vulnerable children, according to state officials.

R-H Staff