The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families (ACF) provides this technical assistance to title IV-E agencies to engage and involve youth in foster care and young adults formerly in foster care (youth and young adults) in the design and development of child welfare information systems, websites, or applications. Title IV-E agencies should consider this population as a “user group” with access to his/her electronic case records, so that they can be more involved in their case, stay connected, and communicate directly with case team members.
This document summarizes the benefits of engaging youth and young adults in system design by providing tips for overcoming common challenges and highlights agency examples. While the document largely focuses on Comprehensive Child Welfare Information Systems (CCWIS), the benefits and examples may be applied to any system, website, or application supporting child welfare practice. The information and recommendations herein do not establish requirements or supersede existing laws or official guidance.