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Facilitated family engagement

Facilitated family engagement meetings are designed to promote the safety, permanency, and well-being of children involved with child welfare. These meetings use a formal, structured process to promote consistent, high-quality discussions. A trained facilitator is used to offer an impartial, outside perspective and to help guide the meeting.

Facilitated family engagement meetings promote the following values:

  • Family and child voice are valued
  • Safety concerns and case goals are clearly outlined
  • Dialogue is transparent and live decisions are made
  • Culture and supports are included in case planning
  • Next steps are detailed and aligned with case goals
  • Meetings promote urgency and focus in pursuing safety, permanency, and well-being

While county departments of human/social services are not required by state rule or statute to hold facilitated family engagement meetings, many counties across the state have included these meetings in their county practice to help teams create the best plans possible while valuing all voices and expertise at the table. Facilitated family engagement meetings were evaluated by independent evaluators during Colorado’s Title IV-E Waiver and were found to be highly effective (read more here).

When held regularly, cases are shorter, children are more likely to achieve permanency and are more likely to return home.

Facilitated Family Engagement Resources
The following materials have been developed by the Colorado Department of Human Services or shared by county partners and other stakeholders to help improve the quality and consistency of practice. Please be aware that some materials may promote timelines that are considered best practice or may reflect county practice and policy. Thank you to all who contributed!

Facilitated family engagement resources

The Colorado Department of Human Services has developed facilitated family engagement resources including:

  • Facilitated family engagement tools
  • Facilitator support tools -Tools that a facilitator can use to help support their engagement of families, child welfare staff and other stakeholders in facilitated family engagement meetings. Some tools were shared by counties practicing facilitated family engagement and are identified by county in the document name.
  • Program support-Tools that can help support facilitated family engagement programs. Some tools were shared by counties practicing facilitated family engagement and are identified by county in the document name. 
  • Reports and studies-Reports and studies related to facilitated family engagement and to the Title IV-E Waiver demonstration project.


All of these resources can be found below or on the Forms webpage under Child Welfare Forms & Helpful Documents in the Facilitated family engagement resources folder.