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Collaborative Family Engagement (CFE) is an innovative Family Finding practice between Community Based Care (2INgage or OCOK), Child Protective Services (CPS), and CASA. CFE believes all children have family and other important relationships who can be a supportive network both now and once their involvement in the child welfare systems has ended. Connecting to family and other supportive adults is critical for a child to feel safe and loved and to have a sense of belonging. CFE is committed to finding and inviting these people to be part of a child’s future.

What is CFE?

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.


There are four elements, known as the four C’s that are the heart of CFE. They are Collaborative, Cultivate, Convene, and Connect. During the Collaborative 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.

  • Collaborative – 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 is Cfe important?


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.


Here are a few helpful YouTube videos and informational materials:

CFE for Youth

Designed for youth in foster care wanting to learn about CFE.

CFE for Parents

Designed for parents with children in foster care.

CFE and the Legal System

Summary of the relationship between CASA and CFE


For questions or more information about the CFE program at CASA for the Cross Timbers Area, contact CFE Lead Kristy Allen at