Active Involved Community Partnership

An Active Involved Community Partnership is the first CFPM building block. Community partnerships strengthen the child welfare system's ability to support the safety, permanency, and well-being of the children and families being served and maintains their cultural identities and connections. These partnerships are continuous, providing the needed linkages with impacted communities and actively demonstrating the agency's commitment to work together to reduce disparities in outcomes and improve outcomes for all children and families being served.

"Being invited to the table as a partner, to pose the problem and create the solutions, is an important step forward."

-Youth, Families, African American and Tribal Representatives

True partnership begins with listening to people and communities that have experienced trauma and found resilience and healing in the face of trauma. We listen and humble ourselves to the realities of their experiences and the way they feel the system has impacted them In order to get to the outcomes we both desire.


  • Opens the door to incorporating the varying world views and practices of the people we serve
  • Supports the active involvement of community partners in all practice and system change work
  • Enables us to imagine the force of a uniform and aligned system, collectively seeking the input, help, and support of the community

Establishing authentic agency/community partnerships begins by Using Data to identify the groups of children who are at greatest risk of disproportionate representation and disparate outcomes. This is followed by respectful Outreach and Engagement of the cultural and community leaders who support these children and their families within the community and who can help the child welfare agency understand the culture, lived experiences, trauma histories and needs of these families. Then the following Core Partnership Activities can begin:


  • Conducting listening sessions for the child welfare agency and its leaders to learn about historical trauma experienced by families, communities, and Tribes as a result of system actions and inactions, to begin to address mistrust of public agencies and systems, and to strengthen or rebuild working relationships with the community.
  • Fostering shared goals and outcomes, including developing a shared understanding of key terminology, a clear problem statement to guide partnership work, and joint goals and outcomes for the partnership.

Addressing System Barriers

  • Collaboratively assessing and addressing barriers to improved outcomes for children and families with community and Tribal partners, including developing and implementing action plans together to address those barriers.

Culturally Relevant Supports & Services

  • Creating a system of supports and services that is culturally relevant, community based, and sensitive to the current and historical trauma likely to have been experienced by the children and families being served in order to meet their underlying needs.

Meaningful Partner Roles In Implementation

  • Involving partners in training, coaching, and fidelity assessment to build competency at all levels of the organization and system in applying the Practice Model in diverse cultures, contexts, roles, and situations.

Communication & Feedback Looks

  • Ensuring partnership meetings, forum, and feedback loops are supported and embedded so community and Tribal partners are continuously connected to and help guide ongoing practice and system changes to meet the diverse and changing needs of the children and families being served.


Working together as partners involves the core partnership activities listed below.  Each link provides more detailed information and resources.

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