Meaningful Family Engagement
Meaningful family engagement is a prerequisite for helping families achieve their goals. This National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC) webcast focused on meaningful engagement of families, particularly birth parents. The discussion included strategies for states focusing on how to successfully engage family members affected by the child welfare system, including fathers and paternal resources. In addition, a birth parent shared her experience as a former client and now a national consultant helping public child welfare agencies better engage families within and beyond the case plan. Using state examples of promising practices with meaningful family engagement strategies, this webcast also discussed utilizing the voice of parents as presenters and in digital stories. (January 26, 2011)
Kinship Care Webinar – NASFCM Annual Meeting
This free peer-to-peer webinar on kinship care was organized by the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections for the National Association of State Foster Care Managers as a part of the NASFCM Annual Meeting (which took place virtually this year). The webinar featured presentations on approaches to kinship care in Illinois and Florida.The Recruitment and Kin Connection Project (RKCP) is a Children’s Bureau 2010 diligent recruitment grantee project administered by the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services in Chicago, Illinois. RKCP embraces front-end family finding as an effective intervention strategy that contributes to building a life-long supportive network for children in care. Locating family is essential and engaging family is crucial to their approach. It is their belief that when family finding is executed with passion and a sense of urgency, it can reduce children’s time in care. Their presentation provided an overview of the Recruitment and Kin Connection Project, offered strategies for recruiting relatives and fictive kin, discussed concurrent planning, and reviewed RKCP evaluation information. Florida’s presentation focused on how to support kin and successfully keep children out of care, based on the approach of The Children’s Home in Tampa, Florida. The presenter identified key elements of a successful community model for relative caregivers and illustrated successful approaches to preventing disruption of relative placements and entries into care. Florida’s presentation helped participants to recognize the impact on your system of care of successful programming for relative caregivers. (October 30, 2013)
Family Search and Engagement
The NRCPFC hosted this teleconference for state foster care and adoption managers on family search and engagement. (June 18, 2009)
*Many of these resources were developed previously by the
National Resource Center for
Permanency and Family Connections (NRCPFC).
Informational & Practice Publications, Resources, & Tools
Voices from the Field: Stakeholder Perspectives on Family Finding
This research brief from Child Trends is the fifth in a series summarizing findings from their evaluations of the Family Finding model. It describes the importance of establishing emotional and legal permanent connections for children and youth, and discusses the challenges in forming and building lasting connections. The brief summarizes data gathered from interviews and/or surveys of judges, guardians ad litem, Family Finding specialists, and national Family Finding experts; discusses five common themes that arose through the interviews and surveys; and presents practice and policy implications. (February 2014)
Family Ties: What is Family Finding?
This issue of Family Ties, Kids Central Inc.’s family finding newsletter from, focuses on Family Finding. It includes an overview of steps involved in Family Finding, shares one Family Finding stores, addresses frequently asked questions (FAQs), and highlights common concerns for youth who age out of foster care. (July 2012)
Promising Approaches in Child Welfare: Helping Connect Children and Youth in Foster Care to Permanent Family and Relationships through Family Finding and Engagement
The Children’s Defense Fund developed this publication which discusses Family Finding and Engagement (also referred to as Family Search and Engagement, or Family Finding). The publication discusses the importance of permanency for children and youth in foster care; what family finding and engagement is and how it helps children and youth achieve permanency; promising outcomes for Family Finding for children and youth; key factors to successful family finding programs; challenges in implementing family finding programs; and meeting the goals of the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act. Additionally, it explores how Family Finding and Engagement programs dismantle the Cradle to Prison Pipeline and looks at Family Finding around the country. (September 2010)
This bulletin for professional child welfare caseworkers from the Child Welfare Information Gateway describes the benefits of family engagement in the child welfare system and discusses ways to achieve meaningful family engagement and specific strategies that reflect family engagement. It also provides examples of State and local child welfare programs that have achieved success with engaging families. (June 2010)
Training & Curricula
Family Search and Engagement: An Overview
This online training, developed by the Institute for Human Services for the Ohio Child Welfare Training Program (OCWTP), supports caseworkers and supervisors in putting into practice the critical skills necessary for family search and engagement (FSE). It introduces basic concepts of FSE, presents a concept of permanency, and discusses how to apply three central child welfare skills within the context of five key strategies in FSE. (June 2012)
Indiana: Indiana’s Youth Connections Program
NRCPFC consultant Lucy Ann Carter, together with Youth Connections Program staff, prepared a history of the program as well as several PowerPoint presentations for use in various trainings at both state and local levels.
Kentucky: Resource on Diligent Search for Parents and Relatives
Kentucky submitted this resource for diligent search for parents and relatives as part of their PIP work for the PIP Benchmark: Improve Identification and Location of Family Members (and as part of their efforts to implement Fostering Connections). The Action Steps were to: “Revise standards of practice to reflect process” and “Develop practice guides and resources to assist field staff”. This resource outlines revisions made and offers an introduction to relative search and placement and relevant procedure. It includes a Relative Exploration Form, Notice to Relative of Removal of a Child Form, Absent Parent and Relative Search Handbook: A Guide for Social Workers, Absent Parent Search Form, Absent Parent Search Checklist, definitions, several types of sample letters, and, a Relative Placement Decision Making Matrix.
The Michigan Department of Human Services (DHS) provides examples of valuable information that can be helpful in locating a parent.
Identifying and Locating Incarcerated Parents
These PowerPoint presentation slides from The Osborne Association provide tips for identifying parents who are incarcerated, a regional map of New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Facilities, as well as information and resources for locating incarcerated parents within New York City, New York State, and the Federal system. A Bill of Rights for children of incarcerated parents is also included, along with additional resources.
North Carolina: Practice Notes- “Reaching Out to Relatives When Children Enter Foster Care”
In this issue of Practice Notes, a publication from the North Carolina Division of Social Services and the Family and Children’s Resource Program for North Carolina’s Child Welfare Social Workers, the potential benefits of identifying and reaching out to relatives are discussed. This resource provides a guide to searching diligently for relatives in North Carolina, sample interview questions, and giving adequate notice to relatives when a child enters foster care. (December 2010)
News Notes- “Family Search and Engagement”
This issue of News Notes, a publication from the Cuyahoga County Division of Children & Family Services in Ohio, contains an article which discusses Family Search and Engagement (FSE) and provides examples of case situations. (Summer 2012)