Strategic Planning in Child Welfare: Strategies for Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement

Addresses the importance of meaningful stakeholder engagement in child welfare agency strategic planning. The brief also discusses potential barriers to stakeholder engagement, provides strategies for overcoming them, and suggests actionable steps for achieving meaningful stakeholder engagement in strategic planning processes.

Publication year: 2019
Capacity Building Center for States


Engaging stakeholders in ongoing strategic planning, monitoring, and reporting efforts is crucial to child welfare agencies’ success in achieving their goals and improving outcomes for children, youth, and families. These efforts include states’ 5-year Child and Family Services Plan (CFSP), the Annual Progress and Services Reports (APSR), and the Child and Family Services Review–Program Improvement Plan (CFSR/PIP). Stakeholder engagement is so vital to systems improvement efforts that federal regulations (e.g., title IV-B requirements) require states to consistently engage stakeholders such as agencies, organizations, and individuals in ongoing CFSP-related consultation and coordination processes. In addition, the CFSR specifically assesses stakeholder engagement and collaboration with families. Throughout each year, states also work to improve child and family outcomes and agency functioning via state-initiated continuous quality improvement (CQI) efforts and other change initiatives.

Suggested Citation

Capacity Building Center for States (2019). Strategic Planning in Child Welfare: Strategies for Meaningful Stakeholder Engagement. Children’s Bureau, Administration for Children and Families, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

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