Children do best in their families. Child welfare professionals’ authentic engagement and partnership with parents should be based on meeting them where they are and recognizing their strengths and resilience. Parents should be involved in case planning and decision-making, including in determining which services and supports they need to build on their strengths, reduce risk factors, and achieve their goals. Connecting parents to service providers and tailored resources and supports that complement their strengths and goals can help children stay in their home safely.
When children must enter out-of-home care due to safety concerns in their homes, child welfare agencies should engage members of a child’s family, such as grandparents or fictive kin, to develop a deeper pool of potential caregivers and maintain family connections. Caregivers will need the support of the child welfare agency to navigate the child welfare and adjacent systems, access services for the children in their care, and maintain their own well-being.