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Capacity Building


Strategies for Authentic Integration of Family and Youth Voice in Child Welfare

When families and youth are engaged as stakeholders early and throughout a project, they add a voice of lived experience, context, and a unique perspective on child welfare. Authentically engaging and effectively sustaining the involvement of families and youth over time can be a struggle even when states and jurisdictions recognize the value of their involvement.

Strategies for Authentic Integration of Family and Youth Voice in Child Welfare tip sheet (PDF - 455 KB) outlines key tasks in engaging families and youth at the system and agency levels, and provides child welfare managers with tips, strategies, and stories from the field. Managers can use this tip sheet when engaging youth and families, considering policy to support engagement, or training staff. The tip sheet includes a matrix tool that focuses on the impact of the engagement along a continuum, from ineffective or low-impact engagement to effective or high-impact engagement. The matrix tool can help teams and individuals better understand family engagement. The tool can also aid child welfare agencies in selecting youth and family members to authentically engage with to improve outcomes for children, youth, and families.

Need a Summary?

For a summary of family engagement tips and strategies, check out this Children’s Bureau Express article:

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