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Family engagement is the foundation of good casework practice that promotes the safety, permanency, and well-being of children and families in the child welfare system.
Family engagement is a family-centered and strengths-based approach to partnering with families in making decisions, setting goals, and achieving desired outcomes. It is founded on the principle of communicating openly and honestly with families in a way that supports disclosure of culture, family dynamics, and personal experiences in order to meet the individual needs of every family and every child. Engagement goes beyond simple involvement by “motivating and empowering families to recognize their own needs, strengths, and resources and to take an active role in working toward change.
To help State child welfare managers improve family engagement across program areas, this brief offers information on:
• The benefits of family engagement
• Ways to achieve meaningful family engagement
• Specific strategies that reflect family engagement
• State and local examples of family engagement strategies
• Additional resources
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