Family-centered practitioners view all family members, including maternal and paternal relatives, fictive kin, and informal helpers, as important resources and sources of support for the family. These practitioners are skilled in engaging informal and formal community resources by involving 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.
University of Denver, Butler Institute for Families
Focuses on educating and empowering community members, not just those who are formally involved with the child welfare system, and providing them with the basic skills and techniques to help prevent child abuse and neglect. Formerly the Front Porch Project, the goal of Communities NOW is to effect large-scale system change through broad community leadership and provide training and technical assistance.
National Technical Assistance and Evaluation Center for Systems of Care
Download (PDF - 941KB)
Office on Child Abuse and Neglect, Children's Bureau
Download (PDF - 2,189KB)
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.
Create Change for Children Today: Bring Hope and a Better Tomorrow (PDF - 1,946 KB)
Children's Defense Fund (2009)
Provides an easy-to-use manual for faith communities to engage in year-round child and family advocacy work. Resources include sample prayers, readings, and other materials for services; discussion guides and lesson plans; ideas for promoting activities; and a primer on children's concerns that will help members of the faith community better understand the problems facing children.
Creating Community Responsibility for Child Protection: Possibilities and Challenges (PDF - 188 KB)
Daro & Dodge
Future of Children, 19(2), 2009
Examines five community prevention efforts to enhance formal and informal resources for families and establish collective responsibility for positive child development.
Family-Centered Community Building (PDF - 380 KB)
National Human Services Assembly (2005)
Explores a process of engaging family residents and other stakeholders in sustained collaborative efforts to strengthen and improve conditions for families with children in an identified geographic area.
Inform Influence Impact: The Role of Research in Supporting a Community's Commitment to Its Children (PDF - 1,649 KB)
Case Western Reserve University Center on Urban Poverty and Community Development (2009)
Discusses the activities and outcomes of Invest in Children, a 10-year community-wide, public/private partnership of individuals and organizations to help increase the development, funding, visibility, and impact of early childhood services in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.
Mobilizing Communities to Implement Tested and Effective Programs to Help Youth Avoid Risky Behaviors: The Communities That Care Approach (PDF - 218 KB)
Hawkins, Catalano, & Kuklinski (2011)
Explores a study of youth that describes the Communities That Care (CTC) prevention system, the steps involved in implementing this system, and major findings from a community randomized controlled trial of CTC.
Safety, Fairness, Stability: Repositioning Juvenile Justice and Child Welfare to Engage Families and Communities (PDF - 4,905 KB)
Pennell, Shapiro, & Spigner (2011)
Center for Juvenile Justice Reform
Offers strategies for ensuring that youth involved with both child protection and juvenile justice maintain connections to their homes, schools, and communities and examines ways to advance family leadership in service systems.
Scale of Change: Creating and Sustaining Collaborative Child Welfare Reform Across Cities and States (PDF - 761 KB)
Center for the Study of Social Policy
Highlights the reform efforts of public systems in California; Washington, D.C.; and Iowa to implement strength-based, family-centered practice; community partnerships; and parent engagement and leadership.
Speak Up Be Safe: The Role of Community-Based Organizations in Protecting Children (PDF - 555 KB)
Monique Burr Foundation for Children (2011)
Provides recommendations for strategies that can be used by community-based organizations to support the child abuse prevention efforts of schools and to reinforce the messages of the Speak Up Be Safe program in the community.