Due to the complex nature of child abuse and neglect investigations and family assessments, multidisciplinary teams are often used to enhance and improve investigations and responses for children and families. Multidisciplinary teams represent a variety of disciplines that interact and coordinate their efforts to diagnose, treat, and plan for children and families receiving child welfare services. They may also be referred to as a "child protection team," "interdisciplinary team," or "case consultation team." Resources include State and local examples.
Better Together? A Review of Evidence for Multi-Disciplinary Teams Responding to Physical and Sexual Child Abuse (PDF - 274 KB)
Herbert & Bromfield (2019)
Trauma, Violence, & Abuse, 20(2)
Examines literature on the effectiveness of the use of multidisciplinary teams and shows they are effective in improving criminal justice and mental health responses compared to standard agency practices.
The Importance of Multidisciplinary Teams (MDTs) in Child Abuse Investigations [Video]
LifeBridge Health, Center for Hope (2021)
Presents a video on the Center for Hope’s multidisciplinary team approach and how the team collaborates with trauma-informed professionals to collect information without traumatizing the child during investigations.
Multidisciplinary Teams and Collaboration in Child Abuse Investigations: A Bibliography (PDF - 714 KB)
National Children’s Advocacy Center (2022)
Reviews literature on team efforts in addressing child abuse and neglect, which includes collaboration among professionals through joint investigations as well as formalized multidisciplinary teams.
Working Together: Multidisciplinary Team Responses to Child Abuse & Neglect Investigations
Dmitrieva & DePrince (2019)
Examines the impact of multidisciplinary teams on case outcomes following child abuse and neglect allegations. Findings showed cases using a multidisciplinary team approach were more likely to result in substantiated allegations, took longer to investigate, had more documented contacts, increased engagement with family members, and resulted in more out-of-home placements.
State and local examples
MDT Orientation Manual (PDF - 7,902 KB)
Northeast Regional Children’s Advocacy Center (2020)
Provides information and resources to help with onboarding new multidisciplinary team members. The manual discusses the Children’s Advocacy Center Model, being part of a multidisciplinary team, cultural considerations, forensic interviewing, victim advocacy, case tracking, and more.
Multi-Disciplinary Team Investigations
Children’s Advocacy Center of Suffolk County
Describes the use of a multidisciplinary team in Massachusetts to respond to allegations of child abuse. The website explains the purpose and makeup of the team and links to related resources.
The Multidisciplinary Team Process
National Children’s Advocacy Center
Explores the multidisciplinary team process used by the National Children’s Advocacy center, which brings together various professionals working toward hope, healing, and justice for child abuse survivors.
What is a Multi-Disciplinary Team?
The Child Advocacy Center of Lapeer County
Outlines the purpose of multidisciplinary teams and aspects of successful teams. The website provides an overview of benefits of the multidisciplinary team approach to child abuse investigation and the importance of these types of teams.