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. Please use the link below to register in advance.
January 9: Kin-First Models and Approaches to Creating Systems Change
Please join us at one of the 2023 regional events:
- December 6, The Grand Theater, Anaheim, CA – View details
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.
Tribal Funding Program Office Hour
In partnership with the Office of Tribal Affairs, CDSS is offering ongoing 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
Please join us during the days and times below at the following link: https://cdss-cfs.webex.com/meet/tremaine.palmer.
Upcoming Office Hours:
- Nov. 7, 3-4 PM
- Nov. 21, 3-4 PM
Resources and Information
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