No Opportunity Wasted for Making Moments Matter with Children and Youth
This interactive tool for child welfare professionals features real-life examples and actionable tips explaining how to engage authentically with children and youth.
QIC-EY NOW offers real-life stories from the field. It includes examples and quick tips for busy professionals, bringing to life the competencies and characteristics that drive authentic engagement.
Why NOW? By investing in your skill development, you are equipping yourself to become a better partner of the children and youths in your caseload.
Why NOW? You never know when one moment could matter for a lifetime!
Now is always the time to elevate your skills and abilities to engage authentically with children and youth!
By walking you through a few simple steps, QIC-EY NOW will help you to validate and to deepen your child-and-youth engagement skills via audio and video examples on demand plus concrete tips.
Take a moment to explore QIC-EY NOW on your own, with a colleague or as a team. Together, if we child welfare professionals embrace the power of knowledge and continue to commit ourselves to growing and learning, we will honor our shared mission to create a world where every child and youth feels seen, heard and valued.
The competencies and the characteristics came from the Literature Review that the QIC-EY conducted as part of their environmental scan. The literature review summarizes numerous articles to determine what system and staff changes are needed to ensure authentic children and youth engagement.
Partner with Children and Youth
Partnering means making space for children and youth in the permanency planning and decision-making process. Setting expectations, clarifying roles and mitigating power imbalances will help child welfare professionals to build respectful alliances with children and youth so that challenges and successes can be shared.
Use Communication and Listening Skills
Empathy and authenticity are the foundations of authentic engagement. Open, honest and direct communication conveys to children and youth that the child welfare professional wants to hear their perspectives. Such communication can reveal ways to support their preferences.
Build Trusting Relationships
Spending time with children and youth as they explore their hopes, dreams and fears can be transformational. To achieve this transformation, child welfare professionals need to keep showing up and to stay flexible. Meeting children and youth where they are is essential.
Understand Child and Adolescent Behavior
Seeing behaviors and actions in the context of child and adolescent development is key to meeting the needs of children and youth. When child welfare professionals tailor their approaches by viewing situations through this lens, they can respond in ways that validate and support children and youth at each life stage.
Use a Trauma-Informed Approach
A trauma-informed approach recognizes that trauma can impact how children and youth communicate. Child welfare professionals need to create a safe environment for children and youth to help them feel comfortable exploring their permanency options.
Use a Strength-Based Approach
A strengths-based approach views children and youth as experts about their own lives. It focuses on the unique strengths and abilities that they bring to the table. This approach starts with limiting deficit-based conversation and encouraging children and youth to participate in their own permanency planning in ways that make sense to them.
Practice Cultural Humility
Practicing cultural humility starts by initiating open and honest conversations with children and youth about who are they are. Before child welfare professionals can do that, they need to become aware of how their own backgrounds impact their perceptions and interactions.
Inform and Prepare Children and Youth
Keeping children and youth informed and prepared means sharing accurate, relevant information with them and helping them to understand what to expect next. When child welfare professionals have a variety of practice and coaching techniques at the ready, they can raise the comfort levels of children and youth with the permanency planning process.
Advocate for Children and Youth
Advocacy happens when child welfare professionals use their power to act in support of what children and youth in their caseloads want. When they support reaching the young persons’ goals, greater authentic engagement is the result.
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