1720. Family Team Decision Making Meetings

Approval: Jennifer Strus, Assistant Secretary

Original Date: December, 2010

Revised Date: July 23, 2017

Policy Review: July 1, 2021


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 child(ren) from their home,  placement stabilization and prevention and reunification or placement into a permanent home.


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


  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 must be invited to the FTDM meeting.
  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 form 14-474.


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. Document and verify the following has been documented in the appropriate place on the Shared Planning form DSHS 14-474 in FamLink within seven calendar days:
    1. All persons who were invited and who attended.
    2. Complete Section 8 on the form.
    3. Discussions regarding safety, permanency and well-being outlined in the 1710. Shared Planning policy.
    4. Any decisions reached and any plans made at the meeting.


Shared Planning DSHS 14-474


Family Team Decision-Making (FTDM) Practice Guide

Guide to Shared Planning Meetings

2350. Audio Recording policy

4305. Permanent and Concurrent Planning