Team Decision Making: Key Resources for Assessing Child Risk and Safety

Posted May 20, 2019, By the Annie E. Casey Foundation

A parent and child participate in a Team Decision Making meeting with child welfare officials.

It’s a dif­fi­cult ques­tion — one that child wel­fare agen­cies face again and again: Should chil­dren be sep­a­rat­ed from their par­ents or care­givers to pre­vent abuse and neglect?

Team Deci­sion Mak­ing — a tried-and-test­ed approach devel­oped by the Annie E. Casey Foun­da­tion — helps child wel­fare agen­cies nav­i­gate this very ques­tion and make the most informed deci­sion possible.

Team Deci­sion Mak­ing meet­ings occur every time a safe­ty con­cern aris­es and before a child is sep­a­rat­ed from their care­givers. Such meet­ings — led by a skilled facil­i­ta­tor — bring togeth­er par­ents, chil­dren, agency staff, fam­i­ly mem­bers and com­mu­ni­ty mem­bers. The goal? Dis­cuss safe­ty threats, rel­e­vant fam­i­ly strengths and pro­tec­tive fac­tors to devel­op a con­sen­sus-based plan and rec­om­men­da­tions for mov­ing forward.

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

The Casey Foun­da­tion, which had test­ed Team Deci­sion Mak­ing for more than 20 years, offers the fol­low­ing resources:

Team Deci­sion Mak­ing Overview

Team Deci­sion Mak­ing Case Studies

Case Stud­ies explore how the approach has been imple­ment­ed in local jurisdiction:

Team Deci­sion Mak­ing Research and Evaluation

Reports look at how Team Deci­sion Mak­ing was implemented:

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