When implementing Family Finding and Engagement (FFE), it is critical to inform and engage internal staff and stakeholders and external organizations and community partners from the very beginning of the planning process. It is important that all stakeholders understand the key elements, goals, objectives, and prospective outcomes of FFE.
Engagement and Communication Tools should be used to educate, inform, and evoke excitement from stakeholders about the Family Finding and Engagement process.
Engaging stakeholders is not a one-time occurrence; rather, it is an ongoing, dynamic, and reciprocal process.
Engagement and Communication Documents
Use the following documents, or specific components, to communicate with and engage Family Finding and Engagement stakeholders:
- Fact Sheet—This describes what Family Finding and Engagement is and how it should be conducted. It also provides a brief statement about permanence, costs and benefits, effectiveness, and stakeholders.
- PowerPoint Presentation—This presentation, prepared by the American Humane Association and the Administrative Office of the Courts, can be used in its current version or tailored to meet the needs of the audience. The PowerPoint presentation walks people through a discussion about permanency, a detailed definition of Family Finding and Engagement, pertinent law, and ongoing support.
- Child Trends Research Brief—This brief, entitled Bringing Family to the Table: Tips and Techniques for Effective Family Engagement, is a summary of an evaluation of family finding programs in five states. This brief provides information about 1) key elements of family engagement, 2) tips for initial contact with family members, and 3) helpful qualities of family finding workers, etc. The bulleted information can be used to communicate and engage others about Family Finding and Engagement.
- Family Engagement Brochure—The Child Welfare Information Gateway's handy printable brochure provides an overview of the benefits of family engagement, ways to achieve meaningful family engagement, specific strategies that reflect family engagement, and state and local examples of family engagement strategies, i.e., a Family Finding Newsletter from Kids Central, Inc., in Florida.
- Digital Stories—These stories are narrated by youth who talk about their struggles with and search for permanency. The CD of the 10 stories in the series is free and can be ordered from Seneca Family Agencies.