Family Empowerment Protocol and Engagement Strategies

Family Empowerment Protocol and Engagement Strategies

The York County Children’s Roundtable Teaming Workgroup, a subcommittee of the local Children’s Roundtable, was formed to address barriers with teaming across agencies. The workgroup looked at the Pennsylvania Quality Services Review’s definition of teaming to build a cohesive format easily adaptable to all agencies.

Teaming is having the appropriate team members identified and working towards a shared, common “big picture” of long term success for the child and family.  The appropriate team members include those members who have knowledge of the child’s and family’s culture and needs, as well as skills to be able to assist the family in their success.  This includes the family and their natural supports, as well as the community supports and providers that can also lend their knowledge and support.

York County Office of Children, Youth & Families recognizes the importance of a team approach when assisting families in their path to success.  At every critical decision making point, it is important that the family is surrounded by the best team to help empower their decisions and guide them towards success.

The expectation for county staff and providers is to follow the best practice standards set forth in the Family Empowerment Protocol.  The Family Empowerment Protocol is not a checklist; rather it is a tool to reference when considering who to invite to meetings where vital decisions impacting the family are being made.   We want our staff and providers to adopt this best practice standard—considering  the voice of the family as a part of the team, making sure the right players and supports are present at all meetings, (both formal and informal), and thoughtfully transitioning the family into leadership and decision-making roles.

 Family Empowerment Protocol


 Family Engagement Options

Family Empowerment Protocol


 Engagement Strategies for Supervisors and Managers


Engagement Strategies for Direct Care Staff


Cartel de Empoderamiento Familiar

Protocolo de Fortalecimiento de Familia

Truancy Referral Procedure for Schools

York County School Truancy Referral Policy

The purpose of this policy is to establish a consistent truancy referral process within all schools in York County. York County Office of Children, Youth and Families will review all truancy referrals which meet the criteria as outlined in the policy. There should be an understanding amongst school district personnel that the initial responsibility to address truancy rests with them.

Any child who fails to comply with the compulsory attendance requirements and is habitually truant, may be referred by the school district to YCOCYF for services, which may include addressing family issues that may be responsible for the child’s truant behavior, or possible adjudication as a dependent child under the Juvenile Act.

Before a referral is made by school personnel on a child due to truancy or unlawful absence, YCOCYF expects that the school will adhere to following:

  1. Send written notices to parents requiring written medical excuses after the statutory number of days have been missed.
  2. Cite parents per the school code.
  3. Use behavioral interventions other than out-of-school suspensions to deal with behavior.
  4. Offer truancy prevention programs.
  5. Utilize all school-based resources including consideration of educational placement testing.
  6. Family Group Conferencing should be offered to the family.
  7. Upon early identification, at 6 unlawful absences, school districts shall coordinate a school/family conference 
    to discuss the cause of the child’s truancy and develop a mutually agreed upon Student Attendance 
    Improvement Plan to resolve the truant behavior. If the child is open for assessment with YCOCYF, contact 
    the assigned worker and notify them of the date and time of the meeting so that the worker can attempt to 
  8. If at the SAIP meeting, a parent directly requests YCOCYF to work with their family, the school will assist the 
    parent with making a self-referral to the agency.
  9. If a pattern of unexcused absences continues after the completion of the SAIP meeting, with a total of 10 
    cumulative unlawful absences, the School District may refer the family to YCOCYF for assessment.
  10. The school must conduct and document at least 3 good faith attempts to schedule and hold the SAIP 
    meeting, prior to making a referral to YCOCYF for truancy related concerns.

If school truancy continues after all of the above actions have been taken, the School District can submit a referral to YCOCYF by completing the “York County Children, Youth, and Families School Request for Services Form”. The “School Request for Service Form” should be filled out in its entirety, which must include the exact number of unlawful tardies and absences for the current school year. The following documents must accompany the referral:

  1. Full school attendance history for prior school years
  2. Full school attendance record for current school year
  3. Copy of the most recent IEP
  4. Copy of current report card
  5. Copy of disciplinary records for the current school year
  6. Documented actions the school has taken to correct the problem prior to the referral being made, including
    letters sent to the family requesting medical documentation, if that action was taken
  7. A copy of the Student Attendance Improvement Plan that was prepared by the School District, and signed by all

It is expected that if the school district decides that the parents’ written permission is required before this information can be sent, it will be the school’s responsibility to secure a release of information.

When the Agency receives this information, the case will be assessed by the Screening Unit to ensure that all items were received and the School Request Referral Form is adequately completed. If the required items are not provided, the agency may decline to assign the family for assessment until the adequate documentation is received. Communication will occur with the school to indicate the items that are still required in order to assign for assessment. Once all required documentation is received, the family will be assigned to a caseworker for assessment.

School truancy referrals will be accepted for services on children up until the end of the school year. At that time, the cases will be accepted on a case by case situation to determine if it would be more productive to refer the family in the fall.

York County CYF Truancy Referral Form 


Contact Us

Thank you for visiting our website, where our goal is to provide you with accurate, useful and complete information. Your comments, suggestions and questions are encouraged and will help us serve you better. Please fill out the form below.

*Signifies a required field

Powered by ChronoForms -


York County Children, Youth, & Families

100 West Market St. Suite 402
York, PA 17401
Toll Free: 1-800-729-9227
Phone: (717) 846-8496
Fax: (717) 771-9884

**Please do not use this email account if you have information and/or concerns regarding the safety or well-being of a child. Instead, please contact our agency by calling 1-800-729-9227 or (717) 846-8496.**


Employee Directory

Please click here to view the Office of Children, Youth and Families employee contact directory.


Family Group Decision Making

Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) is a voluntary meeting that involves immediate and extended family, support people, community members and service providers. It is a process that draws on family experiences, knowledge, and resources to create plans that provide for the safety and well-being of the family.

Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) Consent Form

Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) Referral Form