Family group decision-making refers to a collection of family intervention approaches in which family members come together to make decisions about caring for their children and to develop a plan for services. This type of intervention also is referred to as family team conferencing, family team meetings, family group conferencing, family team decision-making, family unity meetings, and team decision-making.
While approaches differ in various aspects, they all feature family (broadly defined) participation in the assessment and a broad range of decisions that impact child safety, permanency, and well-being.
Building Community Partnerships in Child Welfare. Part Two, Team Decisionmaking Involving the Family and Community in Child Welfare Decisions (PDF - 181 KB)
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2002)
Describes the team decision-making approach used by Family to Family initiatives to involve family members, extended family, and the community in permanency decisions and services for children in out-of-home care.
|Series Title||Bulletins for Professionals|
Child Welfare Information Gateway
Download (PDF - 426KB)
Family Group Decision-Making: Incorporating Family Strength, Concerns, and Resources in Developing a Safety Plan (PDF - 123 KB)
Center for Advanced Studies in Child Welfare (2002)
CASCW Practice Notes, 12
Presents a four-stage framework, outlines roles of different participants, and discusses confidentiality issues. Tips are provided for ensuring the child is heard throughout the process.
Family Team Conferences in Domestic Violence Cases: Guidelines for Practice (PDF - 397 KB)
Futures Without Violence (2003)
Information to help trained family team conference facilitators address domestic violence issues. Also offers background information and tips for other family team conference participants.
Guidelines for Family Group Decision Making in Child Welfare
American Humane (2010)
View Abstract and Download
Describes the FGDM process and its components, and addresses family referrals, roles and responsibilities of different professionals, following-up after meetings, and administrative support.
Promoting the Participation Rights of Children and Young People in Family Group Conferences (PDF - 51 KB)
American Humane (2004)
Describes the use of independent advocates to promote the participatory practice of children and young people in the family group conference process in Wiltshire, England.
Strategies in Child Welfare: Four Approaches to Family Team Meetings (PDF - 2,181 KB)
The Annie E. Casey Foundation (2013)
Provides an overview of the concept of family team meetings and their importance in family engagement strategies and compares four family team meeting models that are supported by preliminary research: family group decision-making, family team conferencing, permanency teaming, and team decision-making meetings.
Team Decision-Making Protocol/Policy Outline (PDF - 48 KB)
Annie E. Casey Foundation (2003)
Protocol for meetings that include birth parents and youth, to be held before all decisions involving child removal, change of placement, and reunification or other permanency plan.