By working together, child welfare professionals, community partners, and caregivers can help promote family stability and preservation, enact positive change, and meet the diverse needs of families involved with the child welfare system. This section includes resources to help professionals learn how child welfare agencies can leverage community partnerships, establish birth-foster parent and cross-system relationships, and implement targeted support services as a means to strengthen overall family well-being. Resources also discuss how these strategies, along with a strong and supportive child welfare workforce, can help the child welfare system act as a support system to the families it serves, promote reunification, and prevent reentry into care.

For additional information about foster care and supplemental resources, visit the links below:

Community Partnerships

Building and Sustaining Collaborative Community Relationships (PDF - 648 KB)
Capacity Building Center for States (2017)
Explains collaborative child welfare community relationships. It also describes how these relationships shape child welfare strategies and how they are vital to in-home service delivery for families engaged in the child welfare system.

Supporting Successful Reunifications
Series Title Bulletins for Professionals
Child Welfare Information Gateway
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Year Published 2017
Offers information to help child welfare agency managers achieve successful reunifications. This bulletin includes a description of the benefits of supporting reunification and preventing reentries, statistics, factors that affect reunification and reentry, and relevant strategies and approaches. It also includes examples of promising practices being implemented by States and localities.

Child and Family Services Practice Model: A Safe and Permanent Family for Every Youth (PDF - 686 KB)
Casey Family Programs (2013)
Provides strategies and interventions that advance the focus on legal permanency for youth. This practice model was developed by child welfare professionals, families, and community partners to improve youth safety and well-being and to strengthen families and communities. 

A Model for Collaboration and Results: How Cross-Agency Collaboration Helped Hampton, Va., Build a Broad Array of Child and Family Services (PDF - 1,010 KB)
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2015)
Highlights collaborations between child-serving agencies in Hampton, VA, to reduce the need for child welfare or juvenile justice group placements.

The Mockingbird Family
Mockingbird Society (2018)
Provides a model that encourages communities and families to come together to support, develop, and retain quality foster families who can meet the challenging and complex needs of children and youth experiencing foster care. 

Preserving Connections
Casey Family Programs (2018)
Provides strategies for recruiting and retaining Tribal foster families for American Indian and Alaska Native children and emphasizes the importance of preserving community connections.

For additional information on community partnerships, including State and local examples, visit Information Gateway's Building Agency/Community Partnerships page.

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Collaborative Relationships

Family Engagement: Partnering With Families to Improve Child Welfare Outcomes
Series Title Bulletins for Professionals
Child Welfare Information Gateway
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Year Published 2016
Provides an overview of the foundational elements of the family engagement approach, followed by strategies and promising practices for implementing this approach at the case level, peer level, and systems level.
Partnering With Birth Parents To Promote Reunification
Series Title Factsheets for Families
Child Welfare Information Gateway
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Year Published 2019
Explores how foster caregivers can partner with the birth families of the children in their care to promote reunification. The factsheet seeks to dispel common myths that both sides might hold about the other by drawing from foster and birth parent interviews and taking a lessons-learned approach.

Reshaping Child Welfare in the United States: Lawyers as Partners in Prevention
Milner (2018)
American Bar Association
Recognizes that child welfare goes beyond the agencies alone. It includes many organizations and individuals, including the legal and judicial community.

Building an Effective Tribal-State Child Welfare Partnership
Capacity Building Center for Tribes
Explains how it is essential for working groups to be cohesive units that are able to withstand the challenges inherent in cross-cultural collaboration.

Supporting Reunification
Discusses how foster parents are critical to reunification. Provides quotes from American Bar Association interviews with foster families about how those families have supported reunification.

The Power of the Parents’ Voice [Podcast]
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau (2018)
Provides direction and guidance to help communicate the importance and impact of the parent’s voice when it comes to implementing services and creating policies in order to support the child welfare system in creating a family-centered approach.

The Importance of Sibling Relationships (PDF - 1,090 KB)
Foster Care & Adoption Resource Center (2017)
Fostering Across Wisconsin, 12(1)
Advocates that it is essential for caregivers to collaborate when siblings are unable to be placed together so that the siblings may have consistent contact to help promote resilience and strengthen ties to identity and history.  

For additional information about collaborative relationships, including State and local examples, visit Information Gateway's Birth Parent/Foster Parent Relationships to Support Family Reunification page.

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Targeted Support Services 

Team Decision Making: Engaging Families in Placement Decision (PDF - 2,680 KB)
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2014)
Examines how three jurisdictions have woven team decision-making (TDM) into standard child welfare practice. TDM ensures that placement decisions are a shared responsibility and are in the best interest of children and families.

Wraparound Basics or What Is Wraparound: An Introduction
National Wraparound Initiative
Provides resources from the National Wraparound Initiative and the National Wraparound Implementation Center to help families, researchers, practitioners, and policymakers understand wraparound, a comprehensive and family-driven approach to serving families.

Permanency Innovations Initiative (PII) Approach
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau (2015)
Supports and explains the PII approach, which integrates implementation science and rigorous evaluation.

What Is QPI?
Quality Parenting Initiative
Presents information about the Quality Parenting Initiative, a strategy of the Youth Law Center to strengthen foster care and refocus on excellent parenting for all children in the child welfare system.

Workforce Part 1 – The Workforce Development Framework [Podcast]
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children’s Bureau (2018)
Focuses on the essential elements and implementation of the Workforce Development Framework, which offers an integrated approach to continuously assess, plan, and implement strategies to address workforce gaps and evaluate results.

Change and Implementation in Practice: Teaming (PDF - 595 KB)
Capacity Building Center for States (2018)
Guides child welfare agency leaders, managers, and stakeholders about how to build teams to guide the change and implementation processes. This brief provides background and context for effective team building and detailed step-by-step information on the process of building teams and teaming structures.

For additional information about targeted support services, including State and local examples, visit Information Gateway's Family-Centered Case Planning and Case Management page.

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