Permanency planning for children is best done with the involvement of children's parents and other family members. When families are engaged in case planning, they are more likely to actively participate in the plan and work toward its requirements. Families also are more likely to perceive the identified goals to be relevant and attainable, and be satisfied with the planning and decision-making process. The following resources provide examples of approaches administrators, supervisors, and frontline workers can use to enhance family engagement in permanency planning.
Case Plan Field Tool: How to Make Case Plans With Parents to Achieve Child Safety, Wellbeing and Permanency (PDF - 1,321 KB)
Martin & Giardina (2014)
Presents information for caseworkers on working with families to create quality case plans that increase the likelihood of safe, timely reunification with families based on behavior change.
Engaging the Child, Family, and Significant Adults (PDF - 587 KB)
Virginia Department of Social Services (2017)
Child and Family Services Manual
Discusses the importance of family engagement with youth and family members to make well-informed decisions about safety, permanency, lifelong connections, and well-being.
Family Engagement Inventory
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Familiarizes professionals with how family engagement is defined and implemented across child welfare, juvenile justice, behavioral health, education, and early education.
Family Engagement: Partnering With Families to Improve Child Welfare Outcomes
Prioritizing Youth Voice: The Importance of Authentic Youth Engagement in Case Planning
Strategies for Authentic Integration of Family and Youth Voice in Child Welfare (PDF - 454 KB)
Capacity Building Center for States (2019)
Reviews tools and strategies for engaging families and youth at the agency level and addresses ways child welfare agencies can integrate their input to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families.
Team Decision Making: Engaging Families in Placement Decisions (PDF - 2,744 KB)
The Annie E. Casey Foundation (2014)
Examines how three jurisdictions have used team decision making, which engages all family members, on placement and permanency decisions, to ensure that all parties have input and that placements are in the best interest of children and families.
Team Decision Making Touted as Key to Missouri Child Welfare Improvements
The Annie E. Casey Foundation (2018)
Describes the collaborative, family-centered approach of team decision making used in Missouri to make placement decisions and keep children safe.
What Are Some Examples of Effective Family Search and Engagement?
Casey Family Programs (2018)
Discusses strategies to help locate and engage family members who may serve as kinship caregivers for children in foster care. It lists the core components of the strategies and provides examples of approaches.
What Are the Four Tiers of Authentic Family Engagement? [Video]
Casey Family Programs (2018)
Presents the four tiers of family engagement for child welfare professionals, according to Corey Best of the Birth Parent National Network. The video describes how child welfare agencies can operate at all four tiers to engage family members.