orange background
orange background
Statewide Engagement Groups

Experts and Champions

Too many Missouri children enter the child welfare system and leave their families and communities for reasons unrelated to harm or neglect, but due to misdirected responses to family and community hardship. We propose a systems redesign that engages and empowers communities to support families, rebalancing to connect community-responsive and appropriate resources.

Youth Congress and Parent Ambassadors

The Youth Congress and Parent Ambassadors are two groups that serve as vehicles for youth and parents with lived expertise in the child welfare system to be involved in the co-design of prevention and support services that will enable children and families to remain safely in their homes and in their communities. Prioritizing lived expertise, the Youth Congress will and Parent Ambassadors:

  • Be youth and parent led (respectively), and  focus on community building and engaging youth and parent voices
  • Convene meetings to co-design and guide implementation on community solutions focused on keeping families safely together in their communities
  • Interface with local/state officials, advocates, policy makers, and stakeholders to inform policy and budgetary actions.
  • Serve as part of the overall governance process for Connected Communities – Thriving Families throughout implementation.

CC-TF Champions

Connected Communities-Thriving Families (CC-TF) Champions will pursue policy, statute, and resourcing solutions that support families staying safely together and thriving in their communities. Champions will independently identify solutions as well as prioritize issues elevated by the Youth Congress, Parent Advisory Board, and community stakeholder groups.  

CC-TF Champions will be comprised of youth and parents with lived experience, child and family advocacy leaders, philanthropic organizations, youth and family service providers, university representatives, and public sector department leaders.