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February 2024Vol. 25, No. 1New Tool Provides Tips for Working With Children and Youth

The Quality Improvement Center on Engaging Youth in Finding Permanency (QIC-EY) works to promote authentic engagement and empowerment of children and youth in child welfare programs and practices. A new tool from the organization, QIC-EY Now, features a series of videos to support competencies and characteristics related to youth engagement.

There are three characteristics identified (commitment, flexibility, and self-awareness) and nine competencies (partner with children and youth, practice cultural humility, understand child and adolescent development, use a trauma-informed approach, advocate for children and youth, use communication and listening skills, build trusting relationships, inform and prepare children and youth, and use a strengths-based approach).

The QIC-EY Now tool assigns a video to each characteristic and competency featuring tips from those who have experienced the child welfare system firsthand, as well as child welfare professionals. Most videos are 5 minutes or less and cover topics such as the following:

  • Understand that what you say (words) and how you say it (tone) matter.
  • Validate and support children and youth at each life stage.
  • Recognize the role that culture plays in child and youth development.
  • Continuously identify and address your biases, assumptions, and beliefs.

The QIC-EY is led by Spaulding for Children and partners with pilot sites throughout the country to implement innovative programs and practices that support authentic youth engagement.