Family Engagement: Partnering With Families to Improve Child Welfare Outcomes

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Engaging families in the casework process promotes the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families in the child welfare system and is central to successful practice. Effective family engagement occurs when child welfare practitioners actively collaborate and partner with the family network, including maternal and paternal relatives and fictive kin, throughout their involvement with the child welfare system and recognizing them as the experts on their respective situations. This bulletin for professionals provides an overview of the foundational elements of the family engagement approach, followed by strategies and promising practices for implementing it. While this publication is intended to provide information for frontline caseworkers who directly engage families, it also provides information about family engagement at the system, program, and community levels, as best practices are grounded in these higher levels of the child welfare system. 

Suggested Citation: Child Welfare Information Gateway. (2021). Family engagement: Partnering with families to improve child welfare outcomes. U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau. 

This material may be freely reproduced and distributed. However, when doing so, please credit Child Welfare Information Gateway.

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