Columbus, Ohio – Lt. Governor Jon Husted and Ohio Department of Job and Family Services Director Matt Damschroder announced Tuesday that Ohio is the first state to implement two technology tools from Connect Our Kids. The tools will help children services professionals connect Ohioā€™s 3,100 foster youth with their forever family. They were joined by partners from InnovateOhio, Kinnect, the Dave Thomas Foundation, and Ohio CASA.

The Family Connections tool is a genogram or a digital diagram that illustrates an individualā€™s family members. Professionals can use the desktop or mobile app versions to build family trees, find family contact information and engage family and supporters of children in foster care. The People Search tool uses public information from over 300 sources and covers over 3 billion people to exponentially expand the pool of potential kinship caregivers, far beyond just those in current contact with the childā€™s parents.

ā€œUsing this technology is data sharing at its best to help find forever homes for kids in foster care. Itā€™s going to save childrenā€™s services professionals time and resources,ā€ said Lt. Governor Jon Husted. ā€œGone are the days of them having to map out family trees and contact information on their own. This technology does it for them, and then makes it widely available to other professionals.ā€