The work of the Center for Family and Community Engagement has been ongoing since 1998. The Center itself was approved by the North Carolina State University Board of Trustees on September 18, 2008. The Center has worked to fulfill its mission of promoting safe, healthy, and productive families and communities through training, program support, and evaluation on family-centered meetings. It has carried out this work in collaboration with organizations in the state and with national and international associations.
Initial work began with The North Carolina Family Group Conferencing (NC-FGC) Project which started in the fall of 1998 and ended in the summer of 2002. Over this four-year period, the project promoted the use of family group conferencing (FGC) through program development, training, evaluation, and publication. From the outset this initiative adopted a mission statement developed by its statewide advisory committee: "to use Family Group Conferencing in order to develop partnerships among families, neighbors, community members and leaders, and public agencies that protect, nurture, and safeguard children and other family members by building on the strengths of the family and their community."
Division of Social Services
In 2002, the North Carolina Family-Centered Meetings Project was established and partnered with the NC Division of Social Services in their implementation of a Multiple Response System (MRS). This initiative incorporated child and family teams as one of the seven strategies necessary to their child welfare reform. Initially piloted in 10 of the 100 North Carolina Counties, this effort now includes all 100 counties. The Center continues to support the growing educational, training, and technical assistance needs of county social services departments as they develop programming to support child and family teams as an element of family-centered practice.
System of Care
We entered conversations with the state-wide System of Care Child and Family Teams Curriculum and Training Group in 2005. This brought to the table multiple systems including family advocates, child welfare, juvenile justice, mental health, schools, public health, and economic sufficiency. Since then, we have been a key partner in the development of curricula and a video designed to support child and family teams with multiple systems. The Center continues to provide extensive support to the development of family and youth trainers in order to highlight their voices in program implementation.
Department of Public Instruction
From 2006 to 2008, we were tapped to support the development of child and family teams within schools in North Carolina. These efforts were supported by the North Carolina Department of Public Instruction. We provided training, program support, and evaluation to seven school sites. The schools involved students and their families in planning ways to help students succeed in their schools, homes, and communities.