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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