Frequently Asked Questions

What is Kin_ Infographic (1)

What is Kin?

Kinnect honors two definitions of kin.

First, the child welfare system relies on the legal definition of kin, as interpreted by the Ohio Administrative Code:

Individuals related by blood or adoption to the child, including grandparents, siblings, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, first cousins and first cousins once removed, stepparents and stepsiblings, spouses and former spouses of individuals previously listed, legal guardians, and legal custodians.

Second, we recognize that each of us relies on a network of chosen family—blood relatives, close friends, and other loved ones who support us physically, emotionally, and financially.

The long-term health and quality of life of any individual, and especially of children who have experienced the trauma of having been removed from home, depends on staying connected to a supportive network of kin.

What is Relational Permanency_ Infographic (2)

What is relational permanency?

Relational permanency means the child lives within a loving family that is consistent throughout her life, and is supported to maintain relationships with people important to her, whether or not they live together.

How do Kinnect to Family Specialists collaborate with county child welfare workers to support children in care?

The county child welfare worker investigates allegations of abuse, neglect, and dependency to ensure the safety of the child, and works with the adults involved to develop and implement a plan that will increase safety and reduce risk for the child.

The Kinnect to Family Specialist conducts an extensive search to locate and notify all known relatives and non-related kin of a child that has joined a foster family due to concerns of abuse, neglect, or dependency; assesses family members to determine which kin have the ability, resources, and willingness to care for the child; and helps to build a supportive network of kin who can provide a stable, loving home for that child.

The county worker is ultimately responsible for developing the final plan to ensure the child’s physical and emotional safety. The Kinnect to Family Specialist focuses on family search and engagement to support that worker to find the best solution for the child.

What is Kinnect’s political affiliation?

Kinnect is a non-partisan organization.

Does Kinnect do adoptions?

No. Kinnect advises and supports public children’s service agencies to create the best, family-driven permanency plan that honors each child’s physical and emotional safety. The county child welfare agency determines the final plan for each child, which may include adoption.

What is your service area?


  • Kinnect partners with Cuyahoga County to implement Affirm Me, a pilot program to achieve permanency for youth with diverse SOGIE who experience foster care.
  • Kinnect also partners with Cuyahoga County through Kinnect to Family.


  • Kinnect provides education, advocacy, and outreach throughout Ohio.
  • We have implemented the Kinnect to Family program in fourteen (17) Ohio counties: Allen, Clark, Cuyahoga, Fairfield, Franklin, Hamilton, Hancock, Highland, Lucas, Lorain, Marion, Montgomery, Sandusky, Stark, Summit, Williams, and Wood. We are expanding to an additional 10 counties in 2022, bringing the total to twenty-seven (27).
  • Kinnect provides systems-based consultation services around evidence-informed and evidence-based practices. We currently provide contract services to four (4) Ohio counties.


  • Kinnect provides education, consultation, and presentations at child welfare conferences throughout the country.
  • Kinnect is also a member of Family Builders, a national think tank that advocates for reform in the child welfare field.


Submit a question

We welcome your questions about our organization and programs. We may choose to include our answer to your question on our FAQs page. Please include your contact information if you would like a response to your question. We may not be able to respond to every inquiry, but we will try our best to make sure your question gets answered. Thank you!