Family Engagement Services

Family Engagement Services empower families to make positive choices and take action for the betterment of the family unit.

Trained Village providers work with families as they find workable solutions for the issues they face. In some cases, we bring together the family and service providers (such as schools or social services), allowing families to decide what works best for them.

Family Engagement programs provided by The Village include:

  • Family Centered Engagement: FCE is designed to bring together family members and those with close relationships to the children who are removed, children at risk of removal, and children/youth involved in both the child welfare and juvenile justice systems. Available across the State of North Dakota. 
  • Family Group Decision Making: Trained facilitators help families make the best decision for the safety, care, and protection of children. Available in Clay County, Minnesota.
  • Wraparound Program: Gives families the opportunity and tools they need to address the safety and well-being of their children and their families. Available in Clay County, Minnesota. 

For more information, contact The Village Family Service Center at 1-800-627-8220 or email us.

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Family Centered Engagement

Family Centered Engagement (FCE) is a service provided by The Village Family Service Center for Human Service Zones and Juvenile Court in partnership with the North Dakota Department of Human Services. FCE is designed to bring together family members and those with close relationships to the children who are removed, children at risk of removal, and dual status youth (those who have involvement in the child welfare and juvenile justice system).

The purpose and goal of an FCE meeting is to make a critical decision regarding child safety and protection through achieving the least restrictive and safest placement for the child.

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How it works

A referral is made to plan a Family Centered Engagement meeting within a timeframe of 1 to 14 calendar days after the report/removal. In the FCE program, a trained facilitator, who has had no prior involvement with the family, brings together the children (when appropriate), family members, Human Service Zone and/or Juvenile Court staff, and other community support people to make an immediate placement decision and/or safety plan for children. The main goal of the FCE process is to make a collaborative decision on the safety/placement of children. 

Eligible children

There are three populations of children eligible for a FCE meeting:

  1. Children at risk of removal
  2. Children who experienced an emergency removal
  3. Dual status youth

Cases that are criminal in nature (e.g., sexual abuse or serious physical abuse by a caregiver) are not eligible to receive a FCE meeting. 

Who can make a referral?

Typically, a Human Service Zone worker (usually from Child Protective Services) or a Juvenile Court worker will refer a family to FCE. Non-professionals (i.e., family members and friends) cannot refer families to FCE.

READ MORE: Frequently Asked Questions about FCE

For more information, call 1-800-627-8220 or email us.

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Family Group Decision Making

Family Group Decision Making (FGDM) recognizes the importance of involving families in the process of making decisions regarding the safety, care, and protection of children within the family system. The process of FGDM brings together family members, the children (when appropriate), service providers, and other community support people to create a plan to safeguard children and other family members. This program is offered to families in Clay County, Minnesota, at no charge.

A trained, neutral facilitator (who is independent of the case) helps organize the meeting and guide the group through the FGDM process. The family takes the lead in decision-making, and the service providers help support the family’s plan to address their concerns. In FGDM, the collaboration and leadership of family groups is key to creating and implementing plans that support the safety, permanency and well-being of children.

What kinds of family decisions are discussed in FGDM? 

There can be many different purposes for holding a FGDM meeting. However, the main goal is to support the safety, permanency, and well-being of children. Examples of FGDM goals may include developing a family plan to:

  • Help children remain in the home, decrease unruly behavior, improve grades, and improve the relationship between the children and parents.
  • Help keep the teen sober upon return from treatment.
  • Identify family respite care options for the children and support for Mom.
  • Assist Mom, who suffers from mental health issues, to keep the home safe for the children.
  • Keep the child out of the middle of the parent’s conflict and divorce.
  • Support the child in gaining improved health (based on their dietary needs due to a rare disease).
  • Support Mom and/or Dad as the children return home following foster care.

Who can make a referral? 

A family can be referred to The Village Family Service Center for a FGDM meeting from a variety of sources. Many referrals come from service providers, such as child protection or foster care social workers, counselors, teachers, or other agency service providers. In addition, referrals can also be made by family members, friends, or the parents of the children (called a self-referral). 

If a service provider thinks a FGDM meeting would benefit a family, he/she will talk to the parents about the possibility of scheduling a FGDM meeting before the referral to ensure it is something in which the family is interested. FGDM meetings are voluntary, so it is up to the family and other support people to choose whether or not they will participate.

READ MORE: FAQs about FGDM

For more information or to make a referral, contact The Village Family Service Center Moorhead office at 701-451-4811 or email us

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Family members and service providers come together
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Wraparound addresses complex family needs.

Wraparound Program

Wraparound is a process used to develop plans for children and families with complex needs. Wraparound meetings are collaborative processes that bring together children, family members, friends, service providers, and community members. The purpose is to prevent, identify, and make a plan to address needs and concerns of the family, while building on their strengths.

Wraparound meetings are organized and mediated by a neutral facilitator and typically last anywhere from 1 to 1½ hours. Wraparound meetings are typically ongoing, meeting as often as the team thinks appropriate.

This model is based on principles of respect. They work with families to build on family strengths, collaborate with community resources, and incorporate shared decision making.

The unifying value behind this process is simple: people are happier, more productive, and more likely to make positive changes when those in positions of authority do things with them, rather than to them or for them.

Wraparound is supported financially by the Clay County Collaborative.

What happens during the meetings?

A plan is developed by the family team – which includes family members, service providers, and others. At the meetings, the family team focuses on building on the strengths of the family, prioritizing, setting, and meeting goals according to family values, and discussing areas of life most important to the family. Needs are reflected in the plan to make life better for the children and the family.

Who can benefit from Wraparound?

  • Children, youth, and families. This process can help children, youth, and families make decisions and plan for their future, especially those experiencing difficulty at home, in school, or in the community.
  • Service providers. Service providers can use this family support service to expand the circle of support for families in our communities.
  • Communities. Wraparound offers support to individuals and families … which will in turn result in healthier neighborhoods and communities.

How do I make a referral?

Referrals to Wraparound can be made by anyone (including pastors, teachers, county workers, and the families themselves) in Clay County, Minnesota. You can start by filling out a referral form. 

If you have questions about Wraparound, call The Village Family Service Center's Moorhead office at 701-451-4811.

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Is Your Child At Risk?

Many things place children at risk today – at risk of involvement with the legal system, drug and alcohol abuse, dropping out of school, being targeted by an online predator, etc. The following questions will help you determine if your child is at risk. 

  • Have there been changes in your child's friendships that cause alarm?
  • Do they refuse to allow you to meet their friends, or their new associates, who are known to use alcohol, drugs, or are in trouble?   
  • Has your child lost interest in former activities, sports, or hobbies?
  • Does your child struggle with basic family rules and expectations?
  • Are your child's grades falling? 
  • Does your child seem depressed or withdrawn?
  • Are there instances of verbal attack and rage, resulting in you having to be very careful in how you approach your child?
  • Does your child threaten to run away from home or to live with others? 
  • Does your child engage in self-injurious behavior or self-destructive behavior?
  • Does your child spend an excessive amount of time online?
  • Does your child spend an excessive amount of time playing violent video games
  • Does your child share strange thoughts and feelings or unusual behaviors?
  • Does your child exhibit deceitfulness and manipulation
  • Is your child severely lacking in motivation?
  • Has your child been caught or suspected of stealing money or personal items from others?
  • Do you suspect that your child is experimenting with alcohol and other drugs?
  • Is your teen sexually promiscuous?

If you are concerned about your child, contact The Village Family Service Center.

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Look for the signs that your child may be involved in risky behaviors