Skip to main content

An official website of the United States government

Woman holding hand with a boy and a girl walking in a wooded area

Capacity Building

CENTER FOR STATES

Becoming a Family-Focused System

Becoming a Family-Focused System logo, a family inside a house supported by two hands

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

Agency Culture and Climate Can Help or Hurt Your Success

Becoming a Family-Focused System is a collection of user-friendly resources designed to help teams assess and amplify positive agency culture and climate, identify areas that need attention, and implement strategies to bring about meaningful and sustainable improvements. Agencies can use these resources to:

  • Assess their current culture and climate
  • Find strategies for improvement
  • Engage staff, partners, and stakeholders with podcasts and animated videos
  • Enhance existing training programs

Use these resources to build foundational knowledge about culture and climate, see examples of real-life strategies, and spark conversation with staff and stakeholders. For a quick overview of culture and climate in child welfare agencies, read the Children’s Bureau Express article Sustainable Change is Built on a Foundation of Well-Aligned Culture and Climate.

Do You Want to Gauge Your Agency's Current Culture and Climate?

  • Assessing Culture and Climate
    Provides foundational information and step-by-step guidance for assessing how agency culture and climate support family engagement, continuity of relationships, and collaborative development of services to meet families’ needs. Managers can use this brief to learn about basic concepts, form a team, choose or develop assessment tools, conduct an assessment, and analyze the results.

Do You Need Tips and Strategies for Improvement?

  • Strategies for Building a Culture for Service Collaboration
    Presents strategies to establish, support, and reinforce culture and climate for collaborative development of a service array that is responsive to families and youth. Managers can adapt strategies and examples from this publication to improve specific areas of culture influencing service array identified in the assessment.
  • Strategies for Building a Culture to Partner With Families
    Offers strategies to establish, support, and reinforce agency culture and climate supportive of family engagement and the continuity of relationships of children in care. Managers can adapt strategies and examples from this publication to improve specific areas of culture influencing family engagement and continuity of relationships identified in the assessment.

Do You Want to See What Changing Culture and Climate Looks Like in Practice?

  • How We Partner With the Community to Improve Service Options
    Presents real stories from the field in a podcast series about how agencies are changing organizational culture towards the collaborative development of a service array that is responsive to families and youth. Staff and stakeholders will identify with the challenges and barriers these agencies face, be inspired by their successes, and can reference the accompanying infographic as they listen to the podcast series.
  • Becoming a Family-Focused System: One Agency’s Story
    Follows the experience of child welfare staff, stakeholders, and family leaders as they implement strategies to shift the culture and climate around family engagement and continuity of relationships. Five animated videos tell the story of one agency's journey as it moves from a compliance-oriented, defensive culture toward a more constructive organizational culture that emphasizes performance, support, and innovation.
  • Developing a Collaborative Service Array to Support a Family-Centered Approach
    Offers strategies for building a systemwide organizational culture that promotes working collaboratively to improve service array. In this archived webinar, partners in New York’s Tompkins County Family Treatment Court discuss their journey working with Children and Family Futures to improve service collaboration and institute and sustain a family-focused culture and climate. Use the discussion questions provided to facilitate team discussions and improve practice.
  • Partnering With Families and Youth to Shift System Culture
    Explores strategies for building an agency culture and climate to support family and youth engagement at all levels of child welfare. In this archived webinar, leaders from the Kentucky Department for Community Based Services discuss how integration of family and youth voice has impacted the culture and climate of the agency. Use the discussion questions provided to facilitate team discussions and improve practice.

Additional Resources

The Center for States has identified additional resources to complement Becoming a Family-Focused System. (Reference to any specific process or approach does not constitute its endorsement by the Children's Bureau.) Select the category below to access the resources that best fit your needs.

Connect With Us

Learn how we can help your agency build the capacity to thrive.

Email: capacityinfo@icfi.com 
Phone: 1.844.222.0272
Live Chat

Visit the Center for States' Contact Us webpage for more information.

Are You a Leader, or Do You Work With One?

Improving Culture Begins With Leaders
Provides a quick look at the critical role leadership plays in creating and sustaining positive organizational culture. Read this tip sheet to learn about strategies to initiate, promote, and sustain improved organizational culture through adaptive leadership and modeling collaboration. Share this with leadership to spark discussion around supporting positive change throughout your agency.