1720. Family Team Decision Making Meetings

Original Date:  December, 2010

Revised Date: September 1, 2021

Sunset Review Date: September 30, 2025

Approved by:  Jody Becker, Deputy Secretary


Purpose

Family Team Decision Making (FTDM) meetings follow the Shared Planning Meeting model of engaging the family and others who are involved with the family to participate in critical decisions regarding the removal of children from their home, placement stabilization and prevention, and reunification or placement into a permanent home.

Laws

RCW 13.34.067 Shelter Care, Case Conference, Service Agreement

RCW 13.34.145 Permanency planning hearing, purpose, time limits, review hearing, petition for termination of parental rights, guardianship petition, agency responsibility to provide services to parents, due process rights

Policy

  1. FTDM meetings must occur within the required timelines, unless approved by the area administrator (AA).
  2. Participants listed on the Guide to Shared Planning Meetings DCYF CWP_0070 publication must be:
    1. Invited to the FTDM meeting.
    2. Asked if they need an interpreter for the FTDM, per the following DCYF Administrative policies:
      1. 6.02 Access to Services for Clients and Caregivers who are Limited English Proficient (LEP).
      2. 6.03 Access to Services for Individuals with Disabilities.
  3. Incarcerated parents must be provided access and opportunities to participate in FTDM meetings.
  4. FDTM meetings must be documented in FamLink using the Shared Planning Meeting DCYF 14-474 form.

Procedures

Caseworkers must:

  1. Conduct a FTDM meeting within the following timeframes convene additional FTDM meetings as needed:
    1. Prior to:
      1. Removing a child and anytime out-of-home placement of a child is being considered.
      2. Moving a child from one placement to another.
      3. Trial return home or reunification of a child with parents.
      4. The end of a Voluntary Placement Agreement.
    2. No later than 72 hours after a child is placed:
      1. Into protective custody by law enforcement and prior to the shelter care hearing.
      2. With a new caregiver due to an unplanned change in placement.
      3. On a Voluntary Placement Agreement when there is an emergency and the FTDM cannot occur prior to placement.
    3. If the FTDM cannot occur within the required timeframe and is approved by the AA, the caseworker must document the reason, date of approval, and notify the FTDM facilitator.
  2. Certain circumstances may require that an individual be excluded from participating in the FTDM meeting. Those circumstances include, but are not limited to the following:
    1. The excluded individual is the subject in an on-going criminal investigation.
    2. It is unsafe for an individual to participate in the meeting.
  3. If the child, caregiver or parent is unable to attend the FTDM meeting, their input will be presented and considered in the decision-making process.
  4. If the FTDM is being combined with a Shelter Care Case Conference, a parent must consent to the caregiver’s attendance. For all other FTDMs combined with other shared planning meetings, if a parent does not consent to the caregiver’s attendance, the caregiver will be asked to leave when parent’s information is being discussed.
  5. Follow DCYF Administrative policies:
    1. 6.02 Access to Services for Clients and Caregivers who are Limited English Proficient (LEP) when working with parents, children, and caregivers with LEP. This includes providing qualified interpreters as needed or requested.
    2. 6.03 Access to Services for Individuals with Disabilities by providing:
      1. Qualified interpreters as needed or requested.
      2. The Public Notice of Nondiscrimination DCYF HR_0012 publication at a minimum to:
        1. All participants at their first SPM.
        2. Participants with a disability annually while the case they are involved in is open with DCYF.
  6. Document in the appropriate place on the Shared Planning Meeting DCYF 14-474 form in FamLink within seven calendar days:
    1. All persons who were invited and who attended.
    2. The Public Notice of Nondiscrimination DCYF HR_0012 publication was provided to all participants, per the DCYF Administrative 6.03 Access to Services for Individuals with Disabilities policy.
    3. Complete Section 8 on the form.
    4. Discussions regarding safety, permanency and well-being outlined in the Shared Planning Meeting policy.
    5. Any decisions reached and any plans made at the meeting.

Forms

Shared Planning DSHS 14-474

Resources

DCYF Administrative 6.02 Access to Services for Clients and Caregivers who are Limited English Proficient (LEP) policy

DCYF Administrative 6.03 Access to Services for Individuals with Disabilities policy

Family Team Decision Making Guide for Caseworkers DCYF CWP_0080 publication

Family Team Decision Making Meetings DCYF CWP_0039 publication

Guide to Shared Planning Meetings DCYF CWP_0070 publication

Permanent and Concurrent Planning policy

Public Notice of Nondiscrimination DCYF HR_0012 publication

Shared Planning Meeting policy

Shelter Care Case Conference policy