A family team meeting is a gathering of family members, friends, support people, agency staff, and an impartial moderator who join together to plan for the care and protection of a child. Meetings take place when a child’s safety is at risk. At a meeting, the people who know the child best—the family, extended family and community—work in partnership with the agency to find a solution to ensure the child is well cared for and safe.
Family team meetings may occur:
When there is a risk of a child being removed from the home.
After a child has been removed from the home.
Before a child is reunited with the biological family.
When there is a change in placement.
To review progress made towards goals.
If a family team meeting is needed, the family’s Greene County Children Services caseworker will work with the family to help gather information and decide who else should attend. Anyone who is committed to the well-being of the child may be involved such as parents, children (depending on age and emotional maturity), extended family, social workers, foster parents or counselors. Meetings usually last one to two hours.
At the meeting, the family can talk about their concerns, identify family strengths and set goals which will make the home a safer place for their child. The caseworker will help the family develop goals into a written plan that outlines the steps that need to be taken for the safety of the child.
Greene County Children Services can help families get services they may need to strengthen their family and reduce the potential for abuse or neglect. It is important for parents to attend family team meetings and take an active role in the care and safety of their child.
Family team meetings can have far-reaching benefits. They help the family identify steps to take for a more safe and supportive environment. They help families identify support and resources. And safe and permanent families make our community a better place for all of us to live.