Out-of-Home Services - Center for States - Child Welfare Capacity Building Collaborative Skip to main content

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Capacity Building


Out-of-Home Services

The Center for States helps child welfare agencies build capacity to develop, implement, and sustain a broad continuum of out-of-home services that promote safety, permanency, and well-being for children and youth. Capacity building strategies include developing programs and practices that support kinship and guardianship families and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning (LGBTQ) children and youth; addressing normalcy and reasonable and prudent parent standards; and preventing child sex trafficking. The Center’s work promotes best practices and strategies for improving placement stability and permanency.

Authentic Voices Video Series: Sharing Our Perspective

Watch these insightful stories to learn about issues of belonging, connection, development, and normalcy for children and youth in out-of-home care.

Becoming a Family-Focused System

Use this collection of resources to help enhance agency culture and climate, identify areas that need attention, and implement improvements.

Congregate Care in the Age of Family First

Use these resources to better understand the congregate care provisions of the FFPSA and what they might mean for your agency.

Empowering Caregivers, Strengthening Families

Watch this video series to learn how agency capacity and community and caregiver networks strengthen families and improve outcomes.

Family Mosaic Discussion Guide and Video Series

Explore videos and activities to strengthen supportive relationships and advance foster care as a support to families.

Having the Normalcy Conversation

Learn the importance of normalcy for youth in foster care and understand the importance of regular discussions about its implementation among everyone involved.

It’s All Relative: Supporting Kinship Care Discussion Guides and Video Series

Use the discussion guides and videos in this series to create a more supportive environment for kinship caregivers.

Parent Partner Program Navigator

Learn how to design, implement, and enhance a parent partner program as a strategy for engaging families through peer mentoring and support.

Quality Matters: Improving Caseworker Contacts With Children, Youth, and Families

Browse this suite of publications and learning tools to help build capacity for conducting quality contacts.

Stories from the Field

Watch this recorded webinar to learn how child welfare agencies are integrating youth and family voices through engagement.

Then and Now: Looking Back and Moving Forward

Experience the winding journeys of children, youth, and families in child welfare through first-hand accounts.

Agencies & Courts: Putting Families Front and Center Videos and Discussion Guide

Watch the two videos and do the activities in the discussion guide to get multiple perspectives and better understand family court experiences in child welfare.

Family Empowerment Leadership Academy (FELA)

Browse these resources to learn about family empowerment and engagement, see examples of real-life strategies, and spark conversations.

Building Capacity to Address Sex Trafficking and Normalcy: Child Welfare Virtual Expo (CWVE) 2016

Explore best practices and effective strategies to address sex trafficking and promote normalcy among children and youth in foster care.

Menu for Youth Engagement

Examine the benefits of engaging youth voice in practice, peer support, and system-level change.

Empowering Caregivers, Strengthening Families Learning Experience

Available on CapLEARN; registration required.
Watch and discuss what you hear from firsthand accounts of resource parents sharing the impact of support and collaborative partnerships when working with children, youth, and their families.

Achieving Placement Stability

Register through CapLEARN to access the Webinar Library.
This learning experience is designed to help States and territories build their systems’ capacity to achieve placement stability. Placement stability refers to providing a child or youth in foster care with a stable, secure, long-term family environment in which to live. 

Child Welfare Response to Child and Youth Sex Trafficking - Part 1

Available on CapLEARN; registration required.

Use this training course to focus on building capacity to implement sex trafficking provisions of P.L. 113-183.

Child Welfare Response to Child and Youth Sex Trafficking - Part 2

Available on CapLEARN; registration required.

Use this training course to develop an array of capacity building resources supporting effective implementation of the Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act.

Child Welfare Response to Child and Youth Sex Trafficking - Part 3

Available on CapLEARN; registration required.

Use this training course to gain digital stories and discussion guides that explore the complexities of sex trafficking.

Authentic Youth Engagement Video Series

In these audio stories, youth describe how their voices were heard while in foster care. Each story is anchored by a youth’s perspective and is partnered with another perspective—a caseworker, leader, attorney, or peer mentor. 

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.

State Foster Care Managers

State Foster Care Managers Peer Group promotes collaboration among members of the National Association of State Foster Care Managers (NASFCM) to achieve positive outcomes for children and youth in foster care. NASFCM exists to enable state foster care managers to pool their expertise for progressive improvement in the quality of care to children, youth, and families served by foster care. This group is open only to state-level foster care managers. The board and the Children’s Bureau determine membership.