Team decisionmaking (TDM): balancing risk and protective factors through the use of multiple perspectives Public Deposited

Downloadable Content

Download PDF
Last Modified
  • March 21, 2019
  • Crea, Thomas M.
    • Affiliation: School of Social Work
  • Child welfare agencies face considerable challenges in making consistent and effective placement decisions for children coming to the attention of the child welfare system. Yet, available evidence suggests that agency workers and supervisors may not be adequately equipped to make these critical decisions alone. Team Decisionmaking (TDM) is an innovative approach to decision-making in child welfare that actively seeks the input of family, community members, and service providers in making placement decisions for children and families. Conceptually, TDM is designed to promote effective placement decisions at key decision points in the child welfare system by balancing consideration of families’ risk factors with protective factors that also may exist in families’ community networks. As one of the four “core strategies” of the Family to Family initiative sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, TDM has been implemented in child welfare agencies in 17 states. This dissertation focuses on (1) variations in scope and compliance of TDM implementation across sites; (2) the extent of implementation fidelity across sites; and (3) the degree to which TDM characteristics may be associated with placement recommendations for children in foster care. Findings suggest that in the study sites, TDM meetings are being implemented on a wide systemic scale and that family and community supports are attending a large percentage of meetings. Furthermore, a consistently strong pattern emerged regarding the influence of caregiver attendance in reducing the likelihood of recommendations to change foster care placements. Findings in these study sites are discussed in light of a conceptual framework that describes how risk and protective factors could be balanced in child welfare decision-making.
Date of publication
Resource type
Rights statement
  • In Copyright
  • Usher, Charles L.
Degree granting institution
  • University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
  • Open access

This work has no parents.