Transforming the lives of California’s youth and families
The Center for Excellence in Family Finding, Engagement and Support assists county child welfare agency efforts to keep youth who must be removed from a parent connected with their own family members. We provide statewide, culturally appropriate training and technical assistance to county child welfare and probation departments, behavioral health, and other child-serving stakeholders, including tribal partners and service providers, to enhance their practices, policies, and efforts for family finding, support, and engagement.
The Center is powered by the California Department of Social Services and the Human Services team at UC Davis Continuing and Professional Education.
In Child Welfare the Indian Child Welfare Act (ICWA) is the Gold Standard for Child Welfare. It is the compass that guides the work for working with Indian children, families, and Tribes and, it provides the foundational blueprint for the implementation of a kin-first culture. In essence, a kin-first culture can be seen as the broader application of ICWA principles to the general population.
Frequently Asked Questions
Get answers to your questions on the Family Finding, Engagement and Support FAQs page.
The Impact of Kin-First Placements
Webinars and Events
Join us to hear experts in the field share the best practices that promote the best outcomes involving kin-first models, approaches and service delivery for providing trauma-informed and culturally responsive engagement and support for families.
Feb. 27: Kin-First Model Program Series: Kinnect to Family Overview
March 5: Family Finding
March 12: Catholic Community Services of Western Washington
Consultation and Technical Assistance
The Center for Excellence in Family Finding, Engagement and Support offers coaching and consultation services to county agencies and service providers who are part of the California Children and Youth System of Care.
Family Finding, Engagement and Support TA Hour
Join us to discuss your questions and interests in opting into the Center for Excellence Family Finding, Engagement and Support program and learn about how the Center for Excellence can assist your counties with specialized training and support to enhance practices, policies, and efforts for family finding, support, and engagement.
- Feb. 8, 2-3 PM - Register
- Feb. 21, 1:30-2:30 PM - Register
- March 5, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM - Register
- March 19, 11:30 AM - 12:30 PM - Register
- April 4, 9-10 AM - Register
- April 17, 10:30-11:30 AM - Register
- April 29, 9-10 AM - Register
- May 13, 9-10 AM - Register
- May 29, 11 AM - 12 PM - Register
- June 20, 9-10 AM - Register
- July 1, 10-11 AM - Register
Tribal Funding Program Office Hours
In partnership with the Office of Tribal Affairs, CDSS is offering technical assistance hours to provide Tribes with assistance in developing and implementing the funding programs. We will be available for questions, idea sharing, and support around the following programs:
- Tribally Approved Homes Compensation Program (TAH) – TAH@dss.ca.gov
- Excellence in Family Finding, Engagement, and Support Program (EFFES) – CenterForExcellence@dss.ca.gov
- Flexible Family Supports and Home-Based Foster Care Program (FFS) – FFSFunding@dss.ca.gov
To request a date and time for office hours, please contact the program you'd like to reach at their respective addresses above.
Resources and Information
Microlearning: Storytelling Through Data
Participants will deepen their awareness and understanding of Kin-First Culture through engaging scenario videos and data narrative illustrations. The goal is for you to understand the importance of the Kin-First Culture and how to apply it effectively in your work environment.
The Center for Excellence recognizes that many efforts of programs to keep children, families, and communities together. As part of the Excellence in Family Finding, Engagement and Support funding program, counties are encouraged to implement model programs. Or programs that have been vetted by the Center for Excellence.
The following programs have expertise in family finding, engagement and support.
- Catholic Community Services of Western Washington-Family Behavioral Health (CCSWW): Family Search and Engagement
- Cultural Brokers
- Family Finding
- Kinnect to Family
- Wendy’s Wonderful Kids, Dave Thomas Foundation for Adoption