Early CFE

About Early CFE

ECFE is Collaborative Family Engagement done within the first 14 days before the adversary hearing, primarily by CASA. This CASA advocacy approach starts the work of building connections for children and families from the earliest point in the case. Through introduction of CFE engagement and connection tools, the CASA volunteer can ensure that the child remains connected to those important, safe people in their lives.

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ECFE Resources

Implementation Readiness Checklist – checklist for CASA programs as they prepare to implement ECFE

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Supervisor Checklist – a checklist of tasks to complete within first 14 days of a case

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ECFE Introduction Letters – Sample letter templates to the legal community, child’s caregiver(s) and parents’ attorney explaining the role of a CASA volunteer and CFE.

Template for Caregivers
Template for Legal Community
Template for Parents’ Attorney

ECFE Training

A 1.5 training with an agenda and PowerPoint to help CASA programs present ECFE to local Child Protective Investigations. The training covers the goals of CFE/ECFE and tools that can be used by both parties throughout the case.

CPI Training PowerPoint
CPI Training Agenda

ECFE Implementation Pilot Report

Texas CASA worked closely with four local CASA programs to observe and learn from their early engagement with families, which takes place during the first 14 days starting from the initial appointment of CASA at the ex-parte hearing through the adversary hearing.

The purpose of the ECFE pilot was to study four programs in different regions that currently implement CFE and have a history of working with families prior to the adversary hearing. It was hoped that the pilot would achieve the following goals:

  • A pathway would be identified for other local CASA programs to be appointed at removal and
    start their advocacy and engagement with families sooner by using the CFE approach.
  • Information-sharing with CPI would occur, connections for the child would be identified
    and engaged; a relationship would be started with parents and family, if possible; and
    collaboration between all legal parties would be established by the time of the adversary
  • A determination about how CFE could best be used within the first 14 days of CASA
    appointment would be made and outcomes would be understood.
View Report