Family Search & Engagement

Family Search & Engagement is a best practice in child welfare focused on locating, engaging, connecting and supporting family members for children at risk of out-of-home placement or currently in state custody.  
Family involvement can take many forms, from becoming a caregiver to being a supportive contact.  These family connections provide children with a sense of a family identity and guidance that they will need to prepare them for adulthood.

Family Search & Engagement is a practice that explores multiple ways to engage relatives to increase safety, well-being and improve permanency outcomes.

Why Is Family Search & Engagement Important?
  • Family search uses innovative search technologies and techniques to conduct exhaustive relative search, improve information gathering and documentation and increase the success rate of locating and engaging suitable relatives for child placement.
  • Family search efforts result in the creation of "family trees" which serve to empower families
  • Numerous family members are identified, than initially thought were available
  • Social workers can access more resources (relative connections) for children in their care.
  • Identified relatives are then connected to social workers to initiate involvement and/or serve as placement options.