The child welfare system is most effective in improving outcomes when children, youth, and families with lived experience and diverse skill sets—as well as adjacent systems and community partners—have a role in contributing to its design and operation.
Authentically engaging people with lived expertise in decision-making, systems change, and strategic planning efforts is vital to providing equitable services to all children, youth, and families. These efforts should include people with lived expertise from diverse backgrounds, including those in rural communities, those with disabilities, families experiencing homelessness, incarcerated parents, and others.
Adjacent system partners, such as the legal and judicial community and mental and behavioral health systems, can provide critical input about what is working well and where the child welfare system should focus to improve the experiences of children, youth, and families, in particular those from historically underserved or marginalized populations.
Use these resources to learn more about engaging diverse individuals and organizations as partners in child welfare, including during the Child and Family Services Reviews, in the development of Child and Family Services Plans and Annual Progress and Services Reports, and in other strategic planning efforts.
Adjust the filters below to refine your list of resources. Can’t find what you need in the filtered results? Try searching our Library catalog to access a large selection of peer-reviewed journal articles, evaluation reports, Children’s Bureau grant materials, research studies, and more.
All Children - All Families: Benchmarks of LGBTQ+ Inclusion
Learn about promoting lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, asexual, Two-Spirit, or other gender or sexual identity (LGBTQIA2S+) inclusive policies and affirming practices among child welfare agencies.
Engaging and Supporting Native Fathers
Find a collection of resources designed in collaboration with the Navajo Nation and White Mountain Apache Tribe highlighting the importance of healthy father involvement in a child’s life and how it can improve development and outcomes.
Engaging Young People With Lived Experience in the CFSRs: Key Considerations, Roles, and Recommendations
Explore the results of focus groups with 18 young people with lived experience in child welfare and explore recommendations for methods, recruiting roles, and considerations for engaging youth in the Child and Family Services Reviews.
Family Engagement: Partnering With Families to Improve Child Welfare Outcomes
Find information on the foundational elements of the family engagement approach, followed by strategies and promising practices for implementing it for frontline caseworkers who directly engage families to promote safety, permanency, and well-being.
Family Outreach Series: Strategies for Outreach to Families Living in Rural or Remote Areas
Presents a tip sheet covering strategies for outreach to families living in rural or remote areas. The tip sheet defines outreach, shares specific examples of outreach to families, and offers research-informed strategies.
Strategic Planning in Child Welfare
Learn about strategic planning to align Federal and internal agency processes, including in the Child and Family Services Plan/Annual Progress and Services Report, Child and Family Services Review Program Improvement Plan, and more.
Strategic Planning in Child Welfare: Strategies for Meaningful Youth, Family, and Other Partner Engagement
Discusses the importance of meaningful stakeholder and partner engagement and strategies to overcome any obstacles, and strategies to improve partner engagement in the Child and Family Services Reviews.
Strategies for Authentic Integration of Family and Youth Voice in Child Welfare
Explore a tip sheet and other resources relating to authentically engaging families and youth as partners at the child welfare system and agency levels. The resources provide child welfare professionals with tips, strategies, and practice examples.
Tip Sheet: Engaging People with Disabilities in Evidence-Based Programs
Find information on disability literacy and etiquette, as well as accessibility, accommodations, and inclusion. Child welfare professionals and others should be culturally competent when interacting with people with disabilities.