Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

Official websites use .gov
A .gov website belongs to an official government organization in the United States.

Secure .gov websites use HTTPS
A lock () or https:// means you’ve safely connected to the .gov website. Share sensitive information only on official, secure websites.

September 2023Vol. 24, No. 7Engaging Young People With Lived Experience in the Child and Family Services Reviews

In advance of round 4 of the Child and Family Services Reviews (CFSRs), the Children's Bureau developed a brief based on a series of focus groups in which young people with lived child welfare experience were asked about recruiting, engaging, supporting, and retaining young people in all aspects of the CFSRs. Results from the focus groups revealed the following key considerations for states when engaging youth:

  • Intentionality, authenticity, and equal partnership
  • Early and ongoing engagement opportunities
  • Diversity, equity, and inclusion

The brief outlines young people's potential roles when participating in the statewide assessment and onsite reviews. The voices of young people are critical to improving the child welfare system, so involving them in the CFSRs offers a collaborative way to initiate positive change. The brief suggests several opportunities for state CSFR teams to partner with young people with lived experience.

The brief also provides recommendations for states working toward engaging youth, such as the following:

  • Create state-level roles for young people
  • Conduct ongoing outreach and recruitment
  • Allow young people to choose their roles
  • Compensate young people appropriately
  • Prepare, support, and train young people
  • Provide multiple ways for young people to give input on the CFSRs
  • Communicate with young people continuously
  • Create training roles for young people to help prepare state CFSR teams

Engagement of young people with lived experience in the CFSRs should occur through all phases of the assessment and include youth of all ages, when developmentally appropriate; those currently in care; and those no longer in care.

Read Engaging Young People With Lived Experience in the CFSRs: Key Considerations, Roles, and Recommendations for more details.