Kinnect began in 2005 as the Waiting Child Fund, its mission to raise funds to help at-risk children get adopted. WCF stood in the funding gap between what it cost for adoption, and what money was available from state and local sources. Mainly, it focused on children nearing the end of their foster system support, those who were “aging out.” After initial success at a small scale, a major funder asked founders Mike Kenney and Shannon Deinhart what it would take to scale their work to the tens of thousands of Ohio children waiting for permanent families.

That question brought Mike and Shannon up short. How could they raise enough to find families for all the children who needed them?

They looked around the U.S. for models, seeking to understand programs having success with the outcomes of the child welfare system — safe, permanent families. They discovered innovative approaches and changed their mission, and Kinnect is the result of that effort.

The key to Kinnect’s success is that it builds enhancements into the practice and culture of its partners. It’s a sustainable approach driven and measured solely on the outcomes for children and families. Kinnect is committed to “required evolution” when it comes to the “how” of their work. The people of Kinnect are committed, informed, and consumed with the desire to reform the whole system to focus on permanency for children.

The new Kinnect, continuing its transformation from The Waiting Child Fund, has built a platform for the future on the foundation of its years of success and innovation.

View our 2017 Year in Review to read about our most recent history