Youth and young adults in child welfare are experts on themselves. Child welfare professionals need to meet them where they are, provide necessary information and support, and follow their lead throughout case planning. Case plans and services are typically more effective when developed with youth input. Engaging youth in casework also leads to improved safety, well-being, and permanency outcomes. 

Authentic engagement means partnering with youth as soon as they become involved with the child welfare system and throughout their case planning. Beyond engagement at the individual case level, it is essential to infuse youth and family voice into the design, implementation, and evaluation of policies, programs, and services. Positive systems change requires ongoing, meaningful engagement at all levels of child welfare. 

Discover more about authentically engaging youth and young adults using the resources below. 

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