Planning Tools


Successful implementation of Team Decision Making (TDM) requires thorough and thoughtful planning. A common misconception is that training facilitators is the first step in the planning process. However, as reflected in the documents below, full implementation of TDM has many components and considerations. Planning and creating a strong infrastructure is essential to successful implementation. To avoid common pitfalls, ensure that all levels of leadership and staff are fully committed and that a representative from all stakeholder groups, including youth, parents, care providers, attorneys/court, and Tribal/cultural members, is invited to be involved in the planning process.



Implementing TDM: Sequencing Suggestions – This document is used as a roadmap for implementing Team Decision Making from start to finish.



The documents in this section provide background and supplementary information about TDM, TDM indicators and outcomes, readiness, children of color, privacy and confidentiality, expectations of TDM, safety and risk definitions, examples of advertising materials, and stakeholder tips, among others.

  1. Attorneys and TDM – This explains what Team Decision Making meetings are and aren't.
  2. Domestic Violence and TDM – These are "in the moment" strategies for workers if domestic violence or the threat of violence is present in a TDM.
  3. Examples of Brochures from Other Counties – Eight counties have advertised the implementation of TDM; this link directs you to the counties' brochures.
  4. Facilitator Considerations – These documents describe the role of the facilitator in TDM, the facilitator criteria, and measures of faciliator performance.
  5. Facilitator Observation/Development Tool – This form can be used by an observer evaluating a TDM facilitator during the TDM process. It describes the TDM facilitator's role at each stage. The observer can complete the document to provide a feedback to the facilitator.
  6. HIPPA and TDM – This fact sheet reinforces the rule for safeguarding health information.
  7. Ideas for Readiness Orientation – These suggestions are for what agencies should include when preparing for a TDM orientation.
  8. Key Characteristics of Family Meetings – For people with questions about the differences between TDM and other family meetings, this table points out the key distinctions among TDM, Family Group Decision Making (FGDM)/Family Group Conferencing (FGC), and Family Team Meetings (FTM).
  9. Leadership - Directors and Managers – This is a series of informative documents with tips for Manager and Directors and suggestions for ensuring a successful emergency removal.
  10. Parent Engagement and TDM – These are suggestions for how parents should experience the process of TDM.
  11. Policy and Protocol Development – These documents set the parameters for TDM meetings.
  12. Racial Disproportionality and Disparity - This suggests ways that TDM can impact unequal treatment in CPS.
  13. Sample Screening Questions – These are suggestions (in the form of a script) for scheduling a TDM meeting with stakeholders.
  14. Social Worker Observation/Development Tool – This form can be used by an observer evaluating a social worker during the TDM process. It  describes the social worker's role at each stage. The observer can complete the document to provide feedback to the social worker.
  15. Supervisor Considerations – These are suggestions for supervisors to consider when a TDM is necessary and what a supervisor who attends a TDM can expect.
  16. Team Decision Making Action Plan – These forms can be filled out when (a)  making an action plan and (b) staff is referring a child/family for TDM.
    a. Team Decision Making Action Plan
    b. Team Decision Making Referral Form - Sample
  17. TDM and Kinship Care: A Guide – This guide helps relatives/kin providers learn more placement decisions, their rights, and expectations.
  18. TDM Calculator 2011 – This tool assists sites in determining how many TDM facilitators are necessary to cover each placement decision-making point. It will assist the site in determining how many TDM meetings to anticipate for each type of meeting. This information is helpful in alleviating anxiety among social workers concerned about the number of meetings they may be required to attend.
  19. TDM Indicators and Outcomes – This gives suggestions for measuring outcomes and success with TDM.
  20. TDM Workgroup Development Suggestions – This document gives suggestions for workgroup composition and functioning.
  21. Tips for Ensuring Model Integrity – These are suggestions for staff about how to conduct meetings.
  22. Utilizing Safety and Risk Tools – This defines safety and risk and how they are assessed in TDM.
  23. Working with Community Representatives – This provides suggestions for speaking with community representatives who will be a part of TDM.
  24. Youth Brochure – This brochure, targeted to emerging youth, empowers them to be an active participant in the meeting.