QIC-EY Products

Making Moments Matter: Transforming Child Welfare One Moment at a Time

QIC-EY Annual Webinar: September 14, 2023

Participants will hear from people with lived expertise discuss why authentic child and youth engagement is a foundational element for successful child welfare systems and learn  practical information that workers, supervisors, and leaders can use to transform how children and youth are engaged. Participants will also receive an overview of the QIC-EY and the resources they can access on the QIC-EY website.

From Passenger to Pilot

Presentation: September 14, 2023

This short video examines the trauma, loss and powerlessness children and youth experience in the child welfare system, from their perspective. It explores some of the deep feelings and emotions experienced when children and youth no longer have a voice or control of where their journey is headed.  It examines the potential impact of authentic engagement and listening to their voice, so that children and youth feel they are being heard and that they are in control of their own future.

Environmental Scan

The work of the QIC-EY began with a scan of the child welfare environment as it relates to the engagement of children and youth. The scan provides an overview of the current landscape including strengths, and areas in need of improvement. Recognizing that many child welfare professionals often lack the time and resources to step back and take a more broad look at the collective impact of the work, the QIC-EY has taken the time to curate our findings to support professionals. And in doing so, provides the most up to date information about a core element to their work; authentically engaging with children and youth. In essence, we’ve done some of the hard work to organize the knowledge base surrounding child and youth engagement so child welfare professionals don’t have to. The environmental scan contains the following components:

Literature Review

This systematic literature review was conducted of peer-reviewed articles and gray literature (information that is produced outside of traditional publishing and distribution channels) that discussed how child welfare and/or court staff promote children and youth engagement. 

  • Analysis from 138 articles 
  • Robust insights of core competencies and characteristics 
  • Detailed discussion of workforce support and court engagement

State Survey

Check out the QIC-EY’s state survey to learn about how child and youth engagement is supported by child welfare systems across the nation. 

  • 24 responding states
  • The good news: among respondent states, well over half indicate that they have programs or interventions that support child and youth engagement
  • However, only 5% of states reported child and youth involvement at all levels of decision-making

Expert Interviews

The purpose of the expert interviews was to uncover current efforts by child welfare professionals to authentically engage children and youth in permanency planning as well as to identify any barriers that might get in the way. These documents provide a summary of findings from interviews conducted with people with lived expertise in the child welfare system, child welfare professionals, legal experts, and American Indian Alaska Native stakeholders.

Learn More

People With Lived Expertise Interviews
Workforce Expert Interviews
Legal Expert Interviews
Tribal Child Welfare Expert Interviews

Barriers to Authentic Youth Engagement in Permanency Planning

To understand the most salient barriers to authentic youth engagement in child welfare, several stakeholder groups were asked to share their experiences. Interviews were conducted with 15 people with recent lived expertise in the child welfare system (Wollen et al., 2022), 15 workforce experts (Vanderwill et al., 2022), and 11 legal experts (Peters & Vesneski, 2022) between February-May 2022. In addition, the QIC-EY Youth Engagement Advisory Council compiled a report of the most common barriers to authentic youth engagement (Gagnon & Santiago, 2022). The QIC-EY Barriers to Authentic Youth Engagement Report provides a qualitative analysis of the main barriers identified by each stakeholder group.

Courtroom, gravel, law book

Four Ways That Courts Can Actively Engage Children and Youth Involved in Child Welfare Proceedings

Children and youth are the experts on their own lives, but often they are not engaged meaningfully in their child welfare cases by court professionals. The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges (NCJFCJ) has helped the QIC-EY identify four ways that all judges, court professionals, and related agencies involved with juvenile, family, and domestic violence cases can ensure that children and youth feel empowered and have a voice and a choice about their futures.

Lessons Learned: Fundamental Insights to Engage Children and Youth

In an effort to share fundamental insights about engagement of children and youth, especially in relation to permanency decisions, the QIC-EY has created a series of Lessons Learned. In each issue, the QIC-EY will highlight products and exclusive content that brings to life the insights and knowledge gained as the QIC-EY project progresses.

Connections are very dynamic as you can have close connections with siblings who are now adopted and not legally related to you, to children/youth you lived with in a group home, previous foster families, etc. All of these relationships need to be maintained.  The system should help support children/youth to keep all the people in their wheel.

Need to ensure all conversations include cultural and relational permanency and not just legal permanency.  Also need to start permanency at the very beginning which means keeping the children/youth connected to their family and others that are important to them.  Need to help them build and continue connections and not break them and then later when looking for permanency ask them to help find these people again.

I feel that the child welfare system sees family in a very generic way.  Need to really broaden this definition because a family is not always one or two adults.  It could be a group of people who care about each other.  Some children/youth are not going to be part of a traditional family but do need to have adults/elders who are there to support and mentor them.

Skip to content