We want every kid in every community
to have the relationships and support to thrive.
We develop pathways & partnerships for child welfare agencies, faith communities & businesses to work together - so kids thrive.
We're coming together to help kids in MN.
The Connected Kids Initiative Story
The Connected Kids Initiative (CKI) was born out of 9 unique Minnesota agencies collaborating for a better future for kids and families in our communities and neighborhoods. Our "Founding Collaborative Team" was made up of staff leadership from: AspireMN, St. David's Center for Children, MNAdopt, Eagle Brook Church, Safe Families for Children MN, YMCA Youth Intervention Services, Anoka County Social Services, UpWorks, MN Department of Human Services - Youth Programs & Child Safety and Permanency Division.
Together, we launched our non-traditional team (non-profit, government and church) in late 2016 with a strategic business plan. We piloted our model in Anoka County and within one year saw incredible results as a prevention pathway emerged and more foster families were identified. We were blessed with the approval of a legislative bill to get the pilot off the ground in 2017. Working together produced the results we hoped for and quickly caught wind in more Minnesota communities - we are beyond excited! In 2019, we saw the possibility to roll out our model statewide and included the Adoption is Love Fund while inviting our existing stakeholders as official board members and we launched a campaign to call Minnesota to Step UP.
We believe the community can achieve system change by working together on behalf of kids.
Lisa J. Welter provides support and consultation to faith communities, local government and child welfare agencies to help them collaborate together. She loves guiding the process of the collective impact model leading towards system change.
Julie Overbye Ledy loves advocating for the needs of all kids while specifically calling the business community to be major contributors. She leads the Step UP campaign and provides the creative energy to see it all happen!