Assertive Engagement Logo

The Assertive Engagement Initiative at Multnomah County's Department of County Human Services is a social service approach to working with people that honors them as the experts in their own lives. Assertive Engagement (AE) is compatible with other social service models and draws from Strength Based Practice, Assertive Community Treatment, and Motivational Interviewing. AE is informed by program models of many local agencies.

Assertive Engagement can apply holistically to clients, service providers, supervisors, agencies, and systems by helping us navigate power dynamics and use empathy in our interactions. The initiative aims to support and complement frameworks centered on equity, anti-oppression, and trauma-informed care.

We provide trainings, technical assistance, and policy analysis to our partners and to county staff. We strive to honor the historic work by many agencies to build programs that are participant-centered, strength-based, or culturally specific.

Download the Assertive Engagement Overview Handout for more information.

Room of AE training
Who are Assertive Engagement trainings for?

Many agencies and systems use AE in distinct ways. For example, the Homeless Youth Continuum and the Multnomah Stability Initiative each have AE case management built into their program models and case managers from various agencies in each system meet regularly. Other organizations use AE in parts of their programs. 

AE trainings are currently free of charge and prioritized for agencies that contract with the Multnomah County Department of County Human Services (DCHS) and the Joint Office of Homeless Services. Contact us if your organization or agency is outside of this scope and we can talk about out how to work together.

Attend a training

View the AE training calendar for a list of upcoming events and ways to register.

What past attendees are saying

"I think this is the best training offered and in my 10 years of experience, I have been to a lot. Most valuable training in my opinion."

"Prior to this training I found myself assuming that my clients wanted advice or resources... gives me the chance to see what my clients already know and/or if they want information."

"It was well organized and helpful - and I felt prepared to implement."


Please email tash shatz, Assertive Engagement Initiative Director

Looking for services?

  • Dial 2-1-1, toll-free for information about health and social services in Oregon
  • Call to Safety at 503-235-5333 or toll-free at 1-888-235-5333 if you are not experiencing an emergency, but need to talk to someone immediately about domestic or sexual violence. 
  • Visit the DCHS home page