1710. Shared Planning Meetings

Approval: Connie Lambert-Eckel, Acting Assistant Secretary

Original Date: September 1, 2006

Revised Date: October 19, 2017

Policy Review: October 1, 2021


Children’s Administration (CA) uses shared planning meetings to engage parents, youth, caregivers, youth, relatives, fictive kin, natural supports and others, as appropriate, in the development of a plan that prioritizes child safety and meets the support and service needs of parents, children and caregivers. These meetings provide an opportunity for information to be shared, case plans to be developed and decisions made that will support the safety, permanency, and well-being of children.


This policy applies to all Division of Children and Family Services staff.


RCW 13.34.067 Shelter Care, Case Conference, Service Agreement

RCW 13.34.094 Description of Services Provided to Parents

RCW 13.34.145 Permanency Planning Hearing

RCW 74.13.341 Transition plan - Qualification for developmental disability services

RCW 74.13.540 Independent Living Services

RCW 74.14A.020 Services for Emotionally Disturbed and Mentally Ill Children

PL 113-183 Preventing Sex Trafficking and Strengthening Families Act


  1. Shared planning meetings must occur within the required timeframes or when required due to circumstances outlined in the Guide to Shared Planning Meetings:
    1. Adoption Planning Review (APR)
    2. Behavioral Rehabilitative Services (BRS)
    3. Child Health and Education Tracking (CHET)
    4. Commercially Sexually Exploited Children (CSEC)
    5. End of Life Care
    6. Family Team Decision Making (FTDM)
    7. Foster Care Assessment Program (FCAP)
    8. Shelter Care  Case Conference
    9. Local Indian Child Welfare Advisory Committee (LICWAC)
    10. Mental Health and Substance Abuse Treatment Planning
    11. Permanency Planning Meeting
    12. Transition Plan for Dependent Youth 17 through 20 years (currently referred to as the Multi-Disciplinary Staffing (For Youth 17.5) in FamLink)
  2. Participants listed on the Guide to Shared Planning Meetings must be invited to shared planning meetings.
  3. Incarcerated parents must be provided access and opportunities to participate in shared planning meetings.
  4. The child’s safety, permanency and well-being must be discussed during shared planning meetings.
  5. Family time and sibling and relative visits must be discussed during the meeting when children are placed out of the home. Discussions will include a review of the family time and sibling and relative visitation plans, necessary level of supervision during the family time to ensure the safety of the child, transportation, and efforts to include relatives and family supports during family time.
  6. All shared planning meetings must be documented on the Shared Planning form DCYF 14-474 in FamLink.


  1. The assigned caseworker or supervisor must:
    1. Conduct a shared planning meeting within the timeframes or circumstances described in the Guide to Shared Planning Meetings.
    2. Ask youth age 14 and older to identify at least two support persons to attend the meeting who are not the caseworker or caregiver.
      1. One of the individuals selected may be designated to be the youth’s advocate when discussing normal childhood activities under the reasonable prudent parenting standard.
      2. Any individual identified by the youth must be able to act in the youth’s best interest.
      3. If the caseworker or tribal agency has good cause to believe the youth’s identified support person is not acting in the best interest, he or she may be asked to leave the meeting.
    3. Invite participants indicated on the Guide to Shared Planning Meetings a minimum of five calendar days before the meeting, when possible. If not possible, the effort to invite participants will be documented in a case note.
    4. Provide alternative methods to participate in the shared planning meetings such as conference calls and video conferencing.
    5. Obtain releases of information from parents and youth age 13 and older before the shared planning meeting if any information regarding their mental health treatment, substance abuse treatment, access to reproductive services or sexually transmitted diseases/human immunodeficiency virus is discussed or shared with meeting participants.
    6. After the shelter care hearing but before the following shared planning meetings, describe the shared planning meeting process to parents requesting or participating in a:
      1. FTDM;
      2. Shelter Care Case Conference; or
      3. Permanency planning meeting.
  2. If the child, caregiver or parent is unable to attend the shared planning meeting his or her input will be presented by the assigned caseworker and will be considered.
  3. During the meeting, the assigned caseworker or supervisor will:
    1. Present a case history and the child and/or family’s current situation.
    2. Provide participants the opportunity to present information and engage in the shared planning process.
    3. Identify family strengths and community and cultural supports.
    4. Address and review the following (when applicable):
      1. Safety
        1. Safety assessments
        2. Safety plans
        3. Services needed to reduce safety concerns and increase protective capacities.
      2. Permanency
        1. Progress toward achieving a permanent plan and appropriateness of the case plan to address safety threats and barriers to reunification.
        2. All primary and alternate permanency plans.
        3. Compelling reasons if a TPR has not been filed within 12 months of child’s OPD.
        4. Placement stability
          1. Appropriateness of current placement.
          2. Child’s adjustment in the placement.
          3. The need for services to reduce risk of disruption.
        5. Sibling connections. This includes efforts to place siblings together and maintain sibling visits or contacts.
        6. The level of supervision needed to manage safety threats during family time.
        7. Relative search efforts, status of Tribal affiliation, involvement and notification to relatives and Tribes.
        8. Plan to maintain community and cultural connections.
      3. Well-being
        1. Mental health, physical health and well-being of child, including medical information and needs. This includes determining if a Wraparound Intensive Services (WISe) referral needs to be made for a child or youth with complex behavioral health needs.
        2. Alternative plan for assessment and treatment if child has been denied mental health or substance abuse services.
        3. Services to support healthy development and attachment.  This includes normal childhood activities under the reasonable and prudent parenting standard.
        4. The child’s connections with siblings and other relatives.  For youth 16 and above, this includes discussing skills and strategies to safely reconnect with any identified family members and provide guidance and services to assist the youth.
        5. Child’s education status, needs and supports. Assign tasks and responsibilities as appropriate for child's education to include but not limited to, school enrollment, transportation, referrals for school based services.
        6. Results of the CHET screening and other assessments if available. If CHET results are not available, present results at the next scheduled shared planning meeting.
        7. Services and activities needed to support the youth in his or her transition to adulthood:
          1. For youth 14 years of age or older as part of transition planning:
            1. Education
            2. Employment
            3. Housing
            4. Health insurance
            5. Mentors and continuing supports
          2. For youth 15 years of age and older status of referrals to Independent Living Services contract providers.
        8. Cultural and/or Tribal connections.
  4. Document all information discussed during shared planning meetings in FamLink using the Shared Planning form DCYF 14-474 within the required documentation timeframes. Documentation includes all persons who were invited and attended the meeting.
  5. Create and update the following, but not limited to, when needed:
    1. Safety Plan
    2. Family Time and Sibling Visitation Plan
    3. Comprehensive Family Evaluation (CFE)
    4. Court Report for dependent children
    5. Case plan for FAR and FVS cases
    6. Education Plan
    7. Transition Plan
    8. Referrals to services


Shared Planning DCYF 14-474

Transition Plan form DCYF 15-417 (currently named Transition Plan for Youth Exiting Care)

Shared Planning Parent Information Sheet DCYF 15-260


Family Team Decision-Making (FTDM) Practice Guide

Caregiver Guidelines for Foster Childhood Activities


Understanding the Dependency Court Process DSHS 22-1499