Team Decision Making Headed to the National Council on Crime and Delinquency

Posted June 24, 2019, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

In Team Decision Making, people important to a child help assess and plan for the best way to keep the child safe.

In Jan­u­ary 2020, Team Deci­sion Mak­ing (TDM) — a col­lab­o­ra­tive approach to child-safe­ty plan­ning that the Casey Foun­da­tion devel­oped and began test­ing near­ly 30 years ago — will have a new home: The Nation­al Coun­cil on Crime & Delinquency’s Children’s Research Cen­ter (CRC).

Hav­ing put TDM on the road to becom­ing an evi­dence-based prac­tice, Casey is excit­ed to have CRC con­tin­ue to grow the prac­tice,” says Tracey Feild, direc­tor of the Foundation’s Child Wel­fare Strat­e­gy Group.

TDM sup­ports effec­tive deci­sion mak­ing when kids come to the atten­tion of child wel­fare agen­cies. TDM is applied dur­ing meet­ings that involve key peo­ple — the child, par­ents and fam­i­ly mem­bers, plus agency staff and com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers — who devel­op rec­om­men­da­tions that pri­or­i­tize child safe­ty. When imple­ment­ed with fideli­ty, this approach offers real ben­e­fits to chil­dren, fam­i­lies and agen­cies, research indicates.

For exam­ple:

  • Sites that have prac­ticed TDM are near­ly 30% more like­ly to reuni­fy chil­dren with their fam­i­lies with­in 12 months.
  • When care­givers attend TDM meet­ings, children’s place­ments are less like­ly to change, result­ing in greater stability.
  • TDM meet­ings can help cre­ate a web of sup­port for a fam­i­ly strug­gling with finan­cial chal­lenges and oth­er issues unre­lat­ed to abuse or neglect.

Between now and Jan­u­ary 2020, CRC will part­ner with the Casey Foun­da­tion in states such as Kansas and Mis­souri, which are work­ing to imple­ment or expand TDM. These and future TDM sites are like­ly to ben­e­fit from CRC’s port­fo­lio of strate­gies, such as Struc­tured Deci­sion Mak­ing® and SafeMeasures®.

CRC is unique­ly qual­i­fied to grow TDM’s reach and impact,” says Feild. They have access to new tech­nolo­gies and exten­sive rela­tion­ships in the field of child wel­fare, which will be crit­i­cal to increas­ing how quick­ly TDM can be imple­ment­ed while dri­ving down the cost of super­vi­sion and coaching.”

To learn more about the Nation­al Coun­cil on Crime & Delinquency’s plans for TDM, read their blog post or con­tact CRC’s Child Wel­fare Prac­tice and Team Deci­sion Mak­ing Man­ag­er Heather Meit­ner.

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