Pilot Sites

What is a Pilot Site?

Ensuring that children and youth in care are engaged authentically, particularly in relation to permanency, requires a paradigm shift in how the child welfare system understands engagement and views their involvement in decision-making. Children and youth need to be seen as competent, knowledgeable experts who are partners in decisions about their lives, especially those related to legal, cultural and relational permanency.

To accomplish its goals, the Quality Improvement Center on Engaging Youth in Finding Permanency (QIC-EY) is partnering with the following sites:

  • Hawaii
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Rhode Island
  • Oklahoma Southern Plains (CPT) Consortium
  • Yakama Nation

Between 10/2022 and 9/2026, these sites will receive support and resources from the QIC to make changes in how they authentically engage children and youth. The information gained through evaluation of the work being done in the pilot sites will help to transform how children and youth are engaged authentically in child welfare systems throughout the nation.

Pilot sites will advance the authentic engagement of children and youth by working in partnership with the QIC-EY over the next four years to:

  • Identify, implement and evaluate an authentic, child and youth engagement program model;
  • Implement a child welfare training and coaching curriculum;
  • Identify and implement systemic changes, and
  • Partner with the courts to implement a training for court professionals and staff

Include youth in every aspect of court to address permanency not just in ‘permanency hearing’ but from the jump especially from the start of 72 hours hearings and/or shelter hearings after petition for removal has been made.  Ask youth what they want, who they consider family right then and there to hold system accountable during investigative phase to due diligence on kinship options first and ‘family as defined by the youth.

Why be a pilot site?

There are many benefits for pilot sites. Among these are:

  • Access to funding to cover staff time and support implementation
  • Elevate attitudes, knowledge, and skills of the child welfare workforce so that they have competencies to effectively engage children and youth
  • Enhance collaboration with judicial system
  • Transform system culture and infrastructure to ensure that authentic youth engagement is included in all aspects of the child welfare system
  • Advance alignment with CB goals and CFSR principals
  • Increase efficacy and job satisfaction of workforce
  • Improve long term outcomes related to the attainment of legal, relational and cultural permanence and an increase in stable permanence
  • Become a member of a learning community comprised of other pilot sites
  • Be a national change agent

What are the expectations of a pilot site?

Pilot sites are expected to:  

  • Support the goals of the QIC-EY through mission, policy and practice.
  • Identify a champion who will ensure that the investment in the QIC-EY is ongoing and who will support adherence to the QIC-EY process.
  • Engage children and youth in system change as well as selection and implementation of the child and youth program model.
  • Engage in data collection and data sharing necessary to support evaluation.
  • Engage the court to participate in child and youth engagement training
  • Engage in the development and implementation of sustainability plans as well as the distribution of products to support the messages of the QIC-EY.


A curated list of programs, frameworks, and training curriculum that support the promotion of youth-adult partnerships in child welfare systems.

QIC-EY Products

State Survey, Literature Review, Expert Interviews, and more.

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