Team Decision Making: Key Resources for Assessing Child Risk and Safety
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: A Better Way To Assess Child Risk and Safety defines the approach and includes an infographic on how the model works; and
- Team Decisionmaking: Involving Family and Community in Child Welfare Decisions explores Team Decision Making meetings and the benefits derived when placement decisions are made in partnership with parents, youth, community members and other key stakeholders in a child's life.
Team Decision Making Case Studies
Case Studies explore how the approach has been implemented in local jurisdiction:
- Team Decision Making Case Study: Engaging Families in Placement Decisions,
- Team Decision Making Touted as Key to Missouri Child Welfare Improvements; and
- Crisis and Opportunity in Delaware’s Child Welfare System.
Team Decision Making Research and Evaluation
Reports look at how Team Decision Making was implemented:
- Team Decisionmaking: Building Community Partnerships in Child Welfare (Part 2) details how to incorporate and practice the approach in a child welfare agency.
- In the Moment Strategies for Facilitators of Team Decisionmaking Meetings: When Domestic Violence is Present or Suspected looks at situations involving possible family violence, which require special approaches.