The OhioKAN program model considers community outreach and capacity building as core implementation supports to successful implementation and sustainment of the program model. Outreach efforts include a focus on reducing stigma around support seeking behaviors and normalizing a variety of family constellations. This includes, convening multidisciplinary stakeholders to build awareness and knowledge within communities and across disciplines about the unique strengths, challenges, and needs of kinship and adoptive families and best practices for serving them.
Community outreach supports effective implementation, sustainment of the model, and achievement of programmatic outcomes by ensuring that eligible families and those who serve them are aware of OhioKAN. This includes reducing stigmas of varying family constellations and building the awareness of supports needed and available in the community for Kinship and Adoptive families. OhioKAN staff support community outreach efforts by engaging professionals who serve families in the community and engaging families in places they already engage with. The below includes a list of community outreach strategies leveraged by the program:
- Presentations to community-based organizations and public systems (e.g., schools, courts, etc.)
- Curated content such as webinars and printed materials aimed at professionals
- Networking and having regional advisory council members introduce OhioKAN staff to their networks
- Direct outreach at local events (e.g., state fair, back-to-school events, etc.)
- Outreach through partners such as asking schools to send information home in backpacks
Capacity building supports includes convening an array of different stakeholder groups to build awareness and knowledge within communities about the supports available and needed for Kinship and Adoptive families. Stakeholder groups could include state and regional advisory councils aimed at identifying and addressing local service gaps and needs. See section titled Advisory Councils for more information about state and regional advisory councils leveraged for capacity building.