The ampersand — & — is a symbol with which we’re all familiar. In writing it connects words and ideas. For us, the & is a constant reminder that our role is to be connectors in partnership with youth. We bring together people, resources and ideas that help young people to keep and build life-long relationships. We make more room at the table for youth to be part of decisions made about their lives. People & Resources & Ideas & Youth Voice & New Relationship & Past Relationships come together at Ampersand Families to restore belonging, dignity and hope.
Ampersand Families was founded in 2008 to fill a gap in existing adoption efforts: Teens that had been removed from their parents’ care due to abuse and neglect had a slim chance of joining an adoptive family before aging out of foster care, because few programs existed to help bring teens to permanency. Most programs for teens were developed to help them age out of care.
To provide extraordinarily high-quality services that engage youth in efforts to achieve permanency. We are currently building relationships with community partners to increase the work we are doing with relatives and kin because we believe that youth retain their right to relatives, kin, community and culture even when their parents are struggling to parent them safely. We are committed to being part of the solution to reducing racial disparities in Minnesota’s child welfare system.
We have worked diligently to build a deeply-skilled team with a diversity of experiences and perspectives. Five of our 17 staff (16 FTE) have personal experience with foster care, adoption and/or youth homelessness. Seven of our staff are persons of color or are multi-racial. We are serious about our commitment to trying to reflect the population we serve at the staff and board levels.
Since 2008 we have helped about 170 youth achieve permanency. We make a non-time-limited commitment to our families…we will be there to provide a wide array of innovative supports for as long as families need it. No matter how long ago they adopted.
Annual budget: $1.3M – Foundations, Individual Contributions, Grants or Contracts
Ampersand Families is seeking board members with skills in the following areas:
- Board Governance
- Financial Management
- Marketing & Communications
- Public Policy & Advocacy
- Strategic and Business Planning
We are looking for a diverse pool of skilled board members who care about our mission, and who can help us strengthen the degree to which our board reflects the population we serve. In particular, we are seeking board members with demographics that are not currently adequately reflected on our board, including persons from greater Minnesota, those who identify as GLBT and/or who are persons of color or indigenous.
The best fit for us will be people who are excited to learn and engage in strategic thinking about the child welfare field – we will be doing strategic planning in spring 2020 and are looking forward to a meaningful, rich process. We need brave people who want to help Ampersand Families keep pushing for excellence and accountability in Minnesota’s child welfare system – especially in the area of racial disparities and inequitable treatment of families facing child protection intervention
- Number of members currently: 10
- Meeting time and frequency: 6 full-board meetings annually, committee meetings in-between
- Meeting location: Saint Paul, capacity to participate by phone on occasion
- Time Expectation: Up to 5 hours/month
- Financial Contribution Required: Yes, at a level meaningful to the board member.
- Service on Committee Required: Yes
- Length of Term: 2 Years
- Renewable: Yes
- Does nonprofit carry liability insurance? Yes