Episode 17 – Upfront Family Finding Los Angeles County DCFS

Numbers can reveal profound narratives and the story of Upfront Family Finding in Los Angeles County Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) is inspiring. In the space of two years, LA County DCFS has seen a remarkable increase in the percentage of children initially placed in out-of-home care with kin, from 11% in 2021 to 43% in 2023. DCFS began its Upfront Family Finding journey in 2016 with two pilot offices, gradually expanding the program and implementing it countywide in 2023. Since its inception, the program has benefited 6,004 children, locating 42,429 maternal relatives, 28,591 paternal relatives, and 5,225 non-relative extended family members (data as of March 13, 2024).

In this compelling episode, Director Bob Friend sits with dedicated managers and staff members of LA County DCFS to delve into the transformative realm of Upfront Family Finding and its pivotal approach aimed at swiftly identifying both family and non-relative extended family members. This initiative stands as a beacon of hope, cultivating a culture that prioritizes kinship connections from the very outset of a child’s journey into foster care.

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