Connections Meetings

A Connections Meeting (sometimes called an “Icebreaker”) is an opportunity for parents of children that were recently removed from their care and the caregivers (relatives, suitable adults/fictive kin, and foster parents) their children were placed with, to discuss the needs of the child in a structured but comfortable format. Whether by writing or in-person, early connection between parents and their child(ren)’s caregivers creates the foundation for a positive relationship by allowing them to learn about each other and explore their common interest in the child(ren)’s well-being.

For more information about the Connections Meeting model and referral, visit

Connections: an introduction to reaching out for foster families


Why connection matters

When parents and their children’s caregivers are able to connect about the child’s wellbeing (the sooner after placement the better), Child Welfare systems outcomes improve:

  • Rate of reunification increases
  • Length of dependency decreases (reunification & adoption)
  • Incidence of re-entry & future removal of other children for family decreases
  • Foster parent retention increases
Research & Resources

These Connection meeting resources were collected & created through collaboration among parents, caregivers (relatives, suitable adults/fictive kin, and foster & adoptive parents), Amara, Olive Crest & Fostering Together, King County CASA, DCYF Child Welfare field and support staff, Children’s Home Society & Washington Parent Ally Committee (WSPAC), The Alliance of Child Welfare Excellence, Fostering Connections for Families LLC, and staff from various Early Intervention agencies with CHERISH programs in King County; as members of the Child Welfare Community Connections Advisory Panel (CWC-CAP) sponsored by CHERISH