Working to transform the child welfare system.

Amara

Dr. Angelique Day has partnered with a local nonprofit agency Amara and the Department of Children, Youth, and Families (DCYF) in a new $2.5 million five-year federal grant investment in kinship families will support children and families experiencing out-of-home care in King County.This partnership is expected to bring systemic change to the way kinship families are supported and increase the likelihood that children entering foster care are placed with kinship caregivers.

Dr. Angelique Day, along with her evaluation team, will lead evaluation efforts designed to assist Amara and DCYF to develop an evidence-based program with proven results that will increase the number, stability, and permanency of children placed in kinship care homes. This includes developing evaluation measures to assess the program fidelity, satisfaction of the program, and several outcome areas such as kinship caregiver stress, shared parenting, protective factors, needs assessments (invention only), and placement stability and placement changes.

This grant is currently in year 2 and is about to begin implementation of the Amara program and data collection.

Grant Goals

The grant from the federal Administration for Children and Families seeks to achieve the following goals: 1) Increase the well-being of children in formal kinship care and their caregivers by forming an innovative, hybrid preparation and support model between DCYF and Amara; 2) Improve parent engagement and parent-caregiver relationships by promoting shared parenting principles that are centered on what is best for each child; and 3) Utilize current partnerships and existing kinship and family support services in King County by developing a centralized network of services that promote kinship caregiving whenever possible.

Program Design

Amara and DCYF collaborated on a hybrid foster care licensing model that will provide a streamlined pathway for kinship caregivers. Amara will also provide wrap-around and resource navigation services to kinship caregivers, promote shared parenting strategies between parents and kinship caregivers, and improve community resource coordination. All work will be informed by an Advisory Council comprised of diverse stakeholders and people with lived experience in the child welfare system.

This project is supported by the Children’s Bureau (CB), Administration for Children and Families (ACF) of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) as part of a financial assistance award totaling $5 million with 100% percentage funded by CB/ACF/HHS. The contents are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily represent the official views of, nor an endorsement by, CB/ACF/HHS, or the U.S. Government. For more information, please see the Stevens Amendment.