Family Engagement in Cumberland County

Cumberland County Children and Youth Services is committed to engaging and empowering the families we work with.  To fully serve and assist families, efforts are made to discover their family and kin and assist them in developing a natural support system.  We believe that families know their family best, and as a result they are best equipped to provide the necessary support to them.  By discovering and engaging the important people in our clients' lives, we are better equipped to empower them to make decisions regarding their children.

Family Finding
Children and Youth Services is required by federal legislation through the Fostering Connections to Success and Increasing Adoptions Act of 2008 (Public Law 110-351) to locate and identify possible kinship resources and supports for children placed outside of their home.  These supports could include extended family members or individuals that a child has a close relationship such as Godparents, close family friends, church members, etc.

The goal of identifying these individuals is to locate a familiar person with whom a child may be placed, as well as to assist the Agency in assuring continued family connections for the child while he/she is in placement.  Once individuals have been identified, letters are sent to inform them that the child is in the custody of the Agency and to outline their option to participate in the care and placement of the child.  Maintaining connections can occur through visitation, writing letters, telephone contact, etc. These efforts can mean the world to a placed child and can help to lessen their feelings of loneliness.

If you are a family member or kinship connection for a child that has been placed through Cumberland County Children and Youth Services please call 717.240.6120 and express how you can be a support or connection to that child.

Family Group Conferencing
Family Group Conferencing is a strength-based facilitated meeting that involves immediate and extended family, support people, community members and service providers.  These supports come together in a safe, neutral location to discuss strengths and concerns regarding a specific problem a family is facing that needs resolution. Together this team works to develop an agreed upon plan that will meet not only the family's needs, but also addresses the safety and legality issues that may be in question by the agency.  Family Group Conferencing is an evidenced based practice that is family-centered, family strengths-oriented, family-driven, culturally based, and community-based that provides families with the opportunity to make the important decisions that need to be made in regards to their child or children.

Family Group Conferencing is a practice that is available to all families involved with a child serving agency in Cumberland County such as Juvenile Probation, Mental Health Services, Intellectual and Developmental Disability Services, Early Intervention, Child and Adolescent Service System Program (CASSP) and the court system in addition to Children and Youth Services.  If you or someone you know could benefit from this practice please call 717.240.6120 and ask to speak to the Family Group Coordinator.