This brief describes efforts in Kansas, Texas, and Kentucky to implement innovative practices to engage fathers and paternal relatives in the lives of children involved with the child welfare system. Kansas has changed the word "parent" to the phrase "mother and father" throughout the Children and Family Services policy manual, provides training on father engagement, strengthened requirements for contacting relatives of children entering foster care, and sponsors an annual Fatherhood Summit. Texas has created the State-level position of Fatherhood Program Specialist to spearhead a commitment to involve fathers in their children's lives, revised policies to ensure that fathers are included, provides training on father engagement and family finding, uses Family Group Decision Making to include fathers and paternal relatives in case planning, and collaborates with fatherhood groups around the State. Finally, Kentucky has updated written policies to include father-specific languages, developed tools caseworkers can use to help them locate fathers and paternal relatives, provides training about father involvement and family engagement, and conducts meetings with judges and court personnel to discuss paternity establishment and parent engagement.
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