About Restore

Based on the nationally recognized Extreme Recruitment® program out of St. Louis, the goal of Restore is to connect older youth in foster care with kin within 16-24 weeks after a case is opened. Utilizing a team consisting of a private investigator and case manager who spearhead the search for kin is one of the unique aspects of this very successful program. Referrals are accepted from local child welfare organizations.

Restore’s Objectives

  • To build a framework for child/youth in care in order to support the permanency process utilizing the DCF Permanency Teaming Model.
  • To find and build a support network for young adults who are aging out of foster care and in need of social, emotional and instrumental supports in order to successfully transition into adulthood.
  • To improve long term outcomes for children/youth in care by reconnecting youth/child with safe and appropriate relatives/kin/fictive kin and by matching youth/child with permanent resources for adoption/guardianship.

How Restore Works

  • Case mining
  • Diligent searches utilizing a private investigator
  • Weekly Recruitment activities, including targeted, child-specific and general
  • Case consultation/staffing meeting (1x – 30 – 60 minutes long)
  • Weekly Progress meetings (30 minutes long)
  • Trauma-Informed Psycho-education for both youth and any identified resources
  • Permanency Teaming Meetings
  • For all youth adoptive/guardianship resources are pursued
  • Minimally increasing by 40 to 80, the number of relatives or kin identified on the youth’s genogram.
  • All team members assigned tasks (the majority are assigned to program staff)

Provider Responsibilities

  • To engage all other providers, as appropriate, in the process
  • To participate in weekly progress meetings (30 minutes long)
  • To lead all recruitment activities
  • Be open minded
  • Be present at case consultation meeting and any permanency teaming meetings that are held
  • Participate, as needed in educational and clinical meetings

Criteria for Cases

  • Child must be between ages 6 – 18 years old
    Exceptions to this are allowed if the child meets ONE or more of the following criteria:

    • The child is part of a sibling group being served
    • The child has documented elevated medical or mental health needs
    • The child has been legally free for adoption for six months with no permanent resource identified
  • Legally free for adoption.
    An exception may be made if ALL of the following criteria are met:

    • Reunification is no longer the case plan
    • The team may utilize either the child’s photo and/or a meaningful representation of the child’s interests/needs and a strengths-based profile for recruitment through print media, online resources, and on television, as appropriate.
    • The child’s professional team agrees that Restore is in the child’s best interests.
  • Child needs to have participated in consistent mental health treatment.
  • Provider team must be willing to participate in the program.

Why do we so passionately believe in this work?

From the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative:

Since 1999, nationally, more than 230,000 youth have transitioned from foster care (aged out) without permanent family connections. Each year, another 23,000 to 26,000 transition without the typical growing-up experiences that teach self-sufficiency skills, and without the family supports and community networks that help them make successful transitions to adulthood. These young people experience very poor outcomes at a much higher rate than the general population:

  • More than one in five will become homeless after age 18 1
  • Only 58 percent will graduate high school by age 19 (compared to 87 percent of all 19 year olds) 2
  • 71 percent of young women are pregnant by 21, facing higher rates of unemployment, criminal conviction, public assistance, and involvement in the child welfare system 3
  • At the age of 24, only half are employed 4
  • Fewer than 3 percent will earn a college degree by age 25 (compared to 28 percent of all 25 year olds 5
  • One in four will be involved in the justice system within two years of leaving the foster care system 6

To read more about the original Extreme Recruitment Program out of St. Louis, please visit their website.


Help connect older youth in foster care with kin!

Help us defray search costs.

For every $5000 donated, we are able to reconnect a youth with 40 to 80 extended family members and help ensure that the youth will achieve lifelong connections to family.

Deb Kelleher is the contact for this service. She can be reached by calling our office: 475.235.2184

  1. Casey Family Programs. (1998). Northwest foster care alumni study. Seattle, WA. p. 37
  2. Courtney, M.E., and Dworsky, A. (2005). Midwest evaluation of the adult functioning of former foster youth: Outcomes at age 19. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall Center for Children. p. 22
  3. Pecora, P.J., Kessler, R.C., Williams, J., O’Brien, K., Downs, A.C., English, D., White, J., Hiripi, E., White, C.R., Wiggins, T., and Holmes, K. (2005). Improving family foster care: Findings from the Northwest foster care alumni study. Seattle, WA: Casey Family Programs. p. 1Courtney, M.E., Hook, J.L., and Lee, J.S. Distinct Subgroups of Former Foster Youth During the Transition to Adulthood: Implications for Policy and Practice. Chicago: Chapin Hall at the University of Chicago.
  4. Pecora, P.J., et al. (see note #3)
  5. Pecora, P.J., et al. (see note #3)
  6. Courtney, M.E., Dworsky, A., Terao, S., Bost, N., Cusick, G.R., Keller, T., and Havlicek, J. (2005). Midwest evaluation of the adult functioning of former foster youth: Outcomes at age 19. Chicago, IL: Chapin Hall Center for Children. p. 61