Family-centered practitioners view all family members, including maternal and paternal relatives, fictive kin, and informal helpers, as important resources and supports for the family. These practitioners are skilled in engaging informal and formal community resources. They involve them, as appropriate, in family assessment and case planning and in providing ongoing support to families before, during, and after services are ended by the formal child welfare agency and other community agencies. The following resources address how to engage community members to support children, youth, and families, including State and local examples.
Child Welfare Toolkit for Early Childhood Professionals (PDF - 23,091 KB)
Partnership for Resilient Infants + Toddlers (2014)
Outlines a collaborative approach between early childhood professionals and the child welfare system in order to implement trauma-informed practices in work with parents and children.
Community-Based Family Support: Exemplars with Implementation and Evaluation Strategies
Casey Family Programs (2016)
Focuses on the need for community-based initiatives and summarizes lessons learned from the design and implementation of current and past community-based support programs.
Community-Based Parent Support Programs
Trivette & Dunst (2015)
Orelena Hawks Puckett Institute
Evaluates the efficacy of community-based parent support programs in building parenting capacity.
Community Partnerships for the Protection of Children
Center for the Study of Social Policy
Offers research results and lessons learned from efforts to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families by helping child welfare systems partner more effectively with key stakeholders and community members.
National Child Abuse and Neglect Technical Assistance and Strategic Dissemination Center (2018)
Provides video and audio stories to promote community engagement in supporting children and families and preventing child maltreatment.
Using Protective Factors as a Framework for Your Community Partnership (PDF - 668 KB)
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Administration for Children and Families, Children's Bureau; Child Welfare Information Gateway; & FRIENDS National Resource Center For Community-Based Child Abuse Prevention (2018)
In 2018 Prevention Resource Guide: Keeping Children Safe and Families Strong in Supportive Communities
Provides strategies to help build community awareness and support for the development of broad-based, meaningful community partnerships.
Quality Matters: Improving Caseworker Contacts with Children, Youth, and Families
Capacity Building Center for States
Discusses strategies for creating effective working relationships between child welfare caseworkers, parents, resource parents, and youth in care.
Support Matters: Lessons from the Field on Services for Adoptive, Foster and Kinship Care Families (PDF - 1,454 KB)
Discusses the importance of effectively evaluating the needs of foster and kinship caregivers and partnering with community-based organizations.
Center for Family Life in Sunset Park
SCO Family of Services
Provides information on community-based services for families living in the Sunset Park community, including family counseling, school-based programs, youth and adult employment services, cooperative business development, an advocacy clinic, tax filing support, and other community services.
Bring Up Nebraska
Provides information on community collaborations to reduce entry into the child welfare system and increase community supports for children and families.
Live Well Communities
Live Well San Diego
Provides information on a program that engages the community to improve the health, financial strength, safety, and quality of life of children and families.
One Hope United
Provides information on community-based family support programs, including intact counseling services program, intact family services, the Nurturing Parenting Program, the Parent Group Program, and supplemental services for families.