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Collaborative Family Engagement (CFE)

What is CFE?

Collaborative Family Engagement (CFE) is an innovative Family Finding partnership between CASA, Child Protective Services (CPS), and Saint Francis Ministries. CFE uses a structured approach that is built around the fact that children have many blood relatives and other important connections that can be identified, located and engaged with— providing children and families with a dedicated support system that is meant to last even after CASA and CPS involvement. CFE is all about connections, and the CFE team works together to explore potential positive connections identified by the family.

Who is Involved?

There are many members of the CFE team. In addition to CFE team members, emphasis is placed on maximum involvement from both families and other identified connections.

How Does CFE Work?

There are four elements, known as the four C’s, that are at the heart of CFE. They are Collaborate, Cultivate, Convene and Connect. During the Collaborate phase, CFE uses teams and greater collaboration between systems to involve families and build networks. During the Cultivate phase, CFE utilizes different tools that can be used to engage, connect and/or find  families. During the Convene phase, families are brought together and are involved in the process using facilitated family meetings. During the Connect phase, the goal is connections and permanency; a lifetime network of supportive relationships is formed for the child and their parents.

  • Collaborate - Greater collaboration between stakeholders to involve families and build networks
  • Cultivate - Access to connection, engagement and searching tools to engage and find family/important relationships
  • Convene - Families and their support network come together for family meetings
  • Connect - A lifetime network of supportive relationships is formed for the child and their parents

Why Does CFE Work?

Knowing that every child in the child welfare system has experienced trauma to some degree, CFE strives to decrease long-lasting issues and help these children  move on with their lives in a family environment. Working together to strengthen families helps provide accountability, safety, placement, permanency and healing. CFE also recognizes children heal through relationships, and that every child has a family who can be found through perseverance.

Helpful Resources

Here are a few helpful Youtube videos and information materials:

Designed for youth in foster care wanting to learn about CFE

Created for parents with children in foster care

Summary of the relationship between CASA and CFE

Interactive training modules from CASA College

Contact Information

For questions or more information about the CFE program at CASA of the South Plains, contact CFE Lead/Advocacy Coordinator Frances Lofley at francesl@casaofthesouthplains.org

To learn more about how you can uplift the voice of children in foster care, or to attend a CASA 101 Informational Session, contact Patti Castro, Recruitment Director, at pattic@casaofthesouthplains.org or call (806) 763-2272.

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