Family-centered practice focuses on the healthy growth and development of children and youth within a family context. Family-centered practice is consistent with the approach known as positive youth development, which views all youth as having inherent strengths and potential and focuses on promoting a youth's development rather than identifying and fixing his or her problems. This section provides youth with opportunities for inclusion and participation in decisions that affect their lives and supports meaningful involvement.
Ask NCFY: How Can My Organization Reach Out to Native American Youth?
National Clearinghouse on Families and Youth (2011)
Provides recommendations for providing services to Native American youth. The fact sheet also emphasizes the importance of cultural competency and the acknowledgement of diversity within this environment.
American Bar Association
Offers a list of organizations run and operated by youth that advocate for policy and law changes to ensure that the youth's voice is heard within the child welfare system.
Client Voices: Youth, Parent, and Relative Perspectives on Family Finding (PDF- 340 KB)
Bringewatt, Allen, & Williams (2013)
United States Children's Bureau, & Stuart Foundation
Describes a model used by child welfare practitioners in their work to identify and include family members and close adults in the family finding process for children in the adoption and foster care systems. Client perspectives and opinions to improve the family finding process are also included.
Involving Youth in Planning for Their Education, Treatment and Services: Research Tells Us We Should Be Doing Better (PDF- 810 KB)
Portland State University (2008)
Summarizes research that indicates involving youth meaningfully and successfully in planning for their own future is possible and provides benefits for youth and their families.
Is Your Organization Supporting Meaningful Youth Participation In Collaborative Team Planning?: A Self-Assessment Quiz (PDF - 331 KB)
Portland State University, Research and Training Center on Family Support, & Children's Mental Health (2007)
Offers a quiz to determine how well an organization is supporting meaningful youth participation in collaborative team planning.
Legislative Change Through Youth Empowerment (PDF - 629 KB)
California Youth Connection (2009)
Identifies issues such as education and transitioning that affect foster youth throughout the state of California, and develops policy recommendations to address those issues.
Promoting Youth Engagement in Residential Settings: Suggestions from Youth With Lived Experience (PDF - 989 KB)
Building Bridges Initiative (2012)
Describes youths' insights regarding how residential providers can more effectively engage them as they develop skills necessary for successful family and community reintegration.
Sustaining Youth Engagement Initiatives: Challenges and Opportunities (PDF-1,649 KB)
Finance Project (2009)
Discusses the challenges involved in sustaining organizations and initiatives that promote youth engagement, and then identifies eight elements to sustain youth engagement.
National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections
Provides selected resources around youth engagement and participation, including practice approaches and State examples.