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The CFTM brings family members and other supportive people together to determine what led to the family’s involvement with the Department of Child Services. With the support of others the family can create a plan for child safety that meets the child and family’s needs. Special arrangements may be needed for families where domestic violence has been identified. For questions specific to your case please speak with your Family Case Manager, and for more information read DCS policy for Child and Family Team Meetings.
Who Is Involved in the CFTM Process?
The Family Case Manager will ask the parent/guardian/custodian to choose the members of the CFT. Team members may include the foster parents or kinship caregivers, interested people with a close bond to the family (friends, relatives, neighbors, community members), or even formal resources such as child welfare, mental health, education and other agency representatives involved in supporting the goals of the parent/guardian/custodian. Depending upon age and appropriateness, the child may be included in the CFTM.
What Happens at a CFTM?
The Family Case Manager is trained to lead a team discussion. The reason for each CFTM is to make meaningful and thoughtful decisions about a child and the parent/guardian/custodian, to help the family set goals for positive change and to plan for the future. The CFT identifies the strengths and needs of the child and parent/guardian/custodian. The results of using CFTM’s effectively can include but are not limited to: an increased use of kinship care and placement with siblings, a reduced length of placement and number of placement moves, an increased reunification rate, a reduced use of institutional or group care, and improved outcomes for children and families. The parent/guardian/custodian will receive support from the Family Case Manager regarding their involvement in the CFTM’s. An open relationship between the parent/guardian/custodian, the Family Case Manager, the foster parent and the kinship caregiver will help information be shared that is necessary for improving the family situation.
How Often Are CFTM’s Held?
CFTM’s are held soon after removal of the child when possible. Meetings can be conducted whenever a change in the case occurs, when an important decision has to be made, to develop the case plan, or to assess the progress of the parent/guardian/custodian toward their goals. CFTM’s can be held at the request of one of the CFT members, and can be held as often as necessary.