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Evidence shows that meaningful family engagement in policymaking helps government more effectively support children and families, improving children’s outcomes. The California Research Bureau (CRB) investigated the extent to which the state’s child serving departments and agencies incorporate meaningful input from caregivers and youth in policymaking. CRB provides independent, nonpartisan research and analysis for the Governor, Legislature, and other Constitutional officers. The CRB research shows that California state government includes some bright spots of meaningful family engagement, but they are sporadic and not common practice throughout all child-serving agencies.

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State policy decisions about children’s health and well-being are made far too often without drawing on the experience and expertise of parents, caregivers, and youth...