The Family Engagement: A Web-based Practice Toolkit was funded through a cooperative agreement between the Hunter College School of Social Work in New York and the Children’s Bureau to the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections.

This toolkit is intended as an online tool for programs, states and tribes where promising practices, programs and resources are made available. It can provide an opportunity to connect with colleagues and share program successes and challenges.  For this toolkit, we have chosen a few examples and recognize that they are by no means the only programs using some of these principles and practices. Our goal is to continuously update this toolkit to reflect current practices and resources in the field and recognize programs and practices.

I am grateful to our colleagues at the Children’s Bureau/ACF/DHHS for their insight into the need for such a toolkit. Patsy Buida, National Foster Care Program Specialist at the Children’s Bureau and our Federal project officer for the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections, has spearheaded this process and provided guidance and direction in making this toolkit a reality.

I want thank Joan Morse, Senior Staff at the National Resource Center for Permanency and Family Connections, for her work in developing and coordinating this project. I want to recognize our project consultant, Madelyn Freundlich, who wrote the chapters on definitions and shared planning and decision making. Her knowledge of the field was significant in developing the core principles.   

We would like to thank the National Association of State Foster Care Managers who contributed promising practices and programs from their states. Additionally our colleagues from the other National Resource Center’s provided information
and resources that have enhanced this resource.

I want acknowledge the amazing job done by our information specialist, Tracy Serdjenian. Her diligent and targeted research provided the list of online curriculum resources.

Finally, I would like to acknowledge the voices of those most affected -- the families whom we and others have sought to engage.  These courageous families, in extraordinary ways have struggled to continue to love their children in the best ways they know how.

Gerald P. Mallon, DSW
Executive Director