Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Deirdre Lanesskog


This qualitative study was conducted with participation from social workers employed at a Southern California child welfare agency and researched whether the use of Child/Family Team-Decision Making meetings were a benefit to social workers’ practice. Furthermore, the study examined social workers’ beliefs about the meetings’ impact on foster children and their families in connection with the outcomes of safety, permanence and well-being. Safety, permanence and well-being are the three domains used to evaluate the success of foster children and their families.

Family team-decision making meetings have the common goals of safety, permanence and well-being through promoting shared decision-making, empowerment and continued relationships between workers and the families they serve.

The 10 participants of this study were recruited by the researcher through self- knowledge of employees and their job function. Data was gathered through in-person interviews with participants as well as the participants they referred. The data in this study was qualitative and was gathered in two phases then recorded and analyzed using open coding followed by axial coding.

The findings of this study revealed that including all of the people who are affected by the decisions made in these meetings is essential to good child welfare social work practice. Concepts such as engagement, group and community cooperation and dynamics, social worker training and knowledge and agency support were themes that permeated throughout the data. These themes were intertwined with foster child safety, permanence and well-being. This study also concluded that attending and participating in CFTDMs enhances a social worker’s knowledge base and assists in their feelings of competence and confidence in their job performance.

Included in

Social Work Commons