Child welfare professionals across the country work with children, youth, and families who come from varied backgrounds and communities and have their own unique strengths, needs, and challenges. Resources in this section provide information about working with families from different religious backgrounds, engaging families, making case decisions based on best practices, and serving the best interests of children, youth, and families. Resources include State and local examples.
Engaging Faith-Based Communities to Achieve Timely Permanency for Children and Youth Waiting to Be Adopted
Capacity Building Center for States (2019)
Provides strategies and examples of how to partner with faith-based communities and leaders on behalf of children and youth in foster care waiting to be adopted.
Finding Common Ground: A Guide for Child Welfare Agencies Working With Communities of Faith (PDF - 1,331 KB)
Cipriani, Henneman, & McKenzie (2005)
Shares best practices in building effective partnerships with faith-based communities to recruit and support foster and adoptive parents.
The Ecosystems Perspective in Social Work: Implications for Culturally Competent Practice With American Muslims (PDF - 1,976 KB)
Ahmed, Amer, & Killawi (2017)
Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work, 36
Informs child welfare and related professionals on the systemic factors that impact American Muslims and their overall well-being, as well as strategies to improve practice delivery.
Intersection Of Race And Religion For Youth In Foster Care: Examining Policy And Practice
Collins & Scott (2019)
Children and Youth Services Review, 98
Examines the approaches taken in child welfare policy and practice to address race and religion, particularly approaches that target youth. The study explains the importance of culturally competent community-based interventions, as well as the need to develop additional strategies throughout practice.
Religion and Spirituality Clearinghouse
Council on Social Work Education (2020)
Offers peer-reviewed resources on the intersection between religion, spirituality, and child welfare practice; guidance and policy from the field; and additional resources from around the country and Canada.
Social Work and Religious Diversity: Problems and Possibilities
Journal of Religion and Spirituality in Social Work, 29
Explains the importance of understanding clients’ religious beliefs and values and strategies for addressing them in social work, including when the social worker and client have differing religious backgrounds. This publication is the seminal article on social work and religious diversity.
DFPS Faith-Based Program
Texas Department of Family and Protective Services (DFPS)
Provides information about the Texas Faith-Based Model, a joint effort between DFPS and faith-based communities of all denominations and religious affiliations. The site also provides resources for faith partners interested in supporting children and families involved with child welfare in Texas.
Faith Communities Coalition on Foster Care
Describes a community outreach initiative in Michigan that partners State child welfare services with local faith coalitions to serve children and youth in foster care.
Provides information about creating a foster care and adoption wraparound ministry in a religious organization to support foster and adoptive parents.