Maintaining open lines of communication and engaging youth in their case planning provides them with the opportunity to be directly involved in decisions that affect and concern their lives. Research suggests that youth participation in the decision-making process can be an effective approach in promoting self-esteem, a greater sense of control, and the acquisition of new skills. The following resources highlight the benefits of youth participation throughout the case-planning processes.
Authentically Engaging Youth With Foster Care Experience: Definitions and Recommended Strategies From Youth and Staff
Salazar, Spiers, & Pfister (2020)
Journal of Youth Studies
Describes the importance of engaging youth in out-of-home care in case planning, policy advocacy, and practice change. The article reviews conceptualizations of youth engagement, how to engage youth in foster care, strategies for engaging older youth, benefits of authentic youth engagement, and more.
Empowering Foster Children Age 14 & Older in the Development of Their Own Case Plan & Transition Planning for a Successful Adulthood (PDF - 264 KB)
Advocates for Children and Youth (2015)
Provides an overview of the requirements of the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act in Maryland, which requires more youth involvement in case planning. The document also includes promising practices in other States.
Engaging Youth and Caregivers in Developing Support Services
Highlights the importance of meaningful engagement of birth, adoptive, and kinship families occurs and provides tips on how to engage parents, caregivers, and youth to work collaboratively to achieve the needs of the family.
How Adolescent Brain Science Supports Youth Engagement in Court Hearings and Case Planning
American Bar Association Youth Engagement Project (2019)
Child Law Practice Today, January–December
Explores how brain science confirms that meaningfully involving youth in their own case planning and court hearings is important in child welfare cases and leads to more healthy growth and development for the child.
Involving Youth in Court: Lessons From States
American Bar Association, Center on Children and the Law (2016)
Child Law Practice Today, April
Presents findings from assessments in six States regarding youth involvement in court proceedings. The article also includes policy and practice tips.