“It is absolutely critical to strengthen our efforts to listen to the families and youth served by the system and integrate their voices into all aspects of child welfare planning and improvement.” (Administration for Children and Families, 2019)
The Center for Family and Community Engagement (CFACE) is proud to support North Carolina’s efforts to improve family engagement within child welfare services. Since 2016, CFACE has partnered with the North Carolina Division of Social Services (DSS) to ensure that families have input into system improvements. Beginning with strategic planning during North Carolina’s Program Improvement Plan, families helped DSS develop a multi-tiered approach to involving family voices in child welfare practice, policy and program decisions. The North Carolina Child Welfare Family Leadership Model encourages family engagement as an active, ongoing collaboration with families and youth that recognizes them as full partners in effecting practice and system change.
In 2018, DSS officially launched its Child Welfare Family Advisory Council. The Council, made up of caregivers and young adults with personal experiences in the child welfare system, meets with state leaders monthly. Together they examine policy and program improvements focused on providing essential services addressing the safety and well-being of children and families in North Carolina. Membership on the Council is sponsored by county Departments of Social Services who identify and develop family leaders willing to use their lived experiences to problem solve solutions that work for families. To learn more about the Family Leadership Model or how to sponsor a Child Welfare Family Advisory Council member, contact Kara Allen-Eckard at firstname.lastname@example.org
Keep an eye out for our monthly posts, as we will be introducing the North Carolina Child Welfare Family Advisory Council members!