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December/January 2024Vol. 24, No. 10QIC-EY Shares New Lesson Learned From Literature Reviews

Engaging young people in casework is a crucial element of child welfare practice that can empower youth, improve their experience with the child welfare system, and increase permanency outcomes. The Quality Improvement Center on Engaging Youth in Finding Permanency (QIC-EY), a Children’s Bureau-funded project and leading authority in advancing youth engagement efforts, is working to bring about systemic change in how child welfare professionals engage children and youth.

As part of that work, the QIC-EY is developing a series of lessons learned to share insights about children and youth, especially in relation to permanency decisions. The most recent, Lessons Learned #4, highlights nine competencies that facilitate a worker's ability to authentically engage children and youth:

  • Partner with children and youth.
  • Build trusting relationships.
  • Inform and prepare children and youth.
  • Use a strengths-based approach.
  • Use communication and listening skills.
  • Advocate for children and youth.
  • Practice cultural humility.
  • Understand child-and-adolescent development.
  • Use a trauma-informed approach.

The competencies are knowledge, skills, and abilities, each of which can be honed through training, practice, and support. The QIC-EY advises agencies to find opportunities to help professionals develop and fine-tune these competencies.

To assist in this ongoing training and education, the QIC-EY provides a multimedia tool, “No Opportunity Wasted for Making Moments Matter With Children and Youth” (QIC-EY NOW), with stories from professionals, audio and video clips, and tips for applying the competencies.

More information, including details on the first three QIC-EY lessons learned, is available on the QIC-EY website.