Team Decision Making Added to National Clearinghouse of Evidence-Based Approaches

Posted March 30, 2020, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

Providers and family members come together to help make decisions about the needs of young people

Team Deci­sion Mak­ing (TDM) — a col­lab­o­ra­tive approach to child safe­ty — has reached an impor­tant mile­stone: It is now includ­ed in the Cal­i­for­nia Evi­dence-Based Clear­ing­house for Child Wel­fare (CEBC), a search­able data­base that prac­ti­tion­ers use to find pro­grams and prac­tices that have been proven to work.

Devel­oped over three decades by the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion, TDM engages care­givers, fam­i­lies, case­work­ers, ser­vice providers and, when­ev­er pos­si­ble, chil­dren them­selves in deci­sions relat­ed to out-of-home place­ment — a sig­nif­i­cant and much-need­ed depar­ture from the sin­gle deci­sion-mak­er mod­el that dom­i­nat­ed the process in the past. A trained social work­er facil­i­tates these inclu­sive meet­ings before any move occurs. Full meet­ing details are then col­lect­ed, report­ed and linked to par­tic­i­pants’ out­comes data to sup­port the con­tin­u­ous self-eval­u­a­tion of the practice.

The clearinghouse’s inclu­sion of TDM is based on the approach’s promis­ing research evi­dence” in improv­ing out­comes for kids and fam­i­lies. Over the years, numer­ous stud­ies have indi­cat­ed pos­i­tive effects includ­ing few­er fos­ter care entries and reen­tries, ear­li­er safe reuni­fi­ca­tion with par­ents or rel­a­tives, reduced group care place­ments and increased kin­ship care placements.

An essen­tial resource to the field, the CEBC reg­istry pro­vides an easy-to-use and straight­for­ward sur­vey of exist­ing pro­grams, which gives child wel­fare pro­fes­sion­als and researchers a leg up on find­ing effec­tive solu­tions that meet the needs of the pop­u­la­tions they serve.

Since Jan­u­ary 2020, the Nation­al Coun­cil on Crime and Del­i­quen­cy has man­aged TDM, and the orga­ni­za­tion is well-posi­tioned to expand the practice’s reach, impact and evi­dence base.

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