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Date of Award


Document Type

Restricted Project: Campus only access

Degree Name

Master of Social Work


School of Social Work

First Reader/Committee Chair

Lanesskog, Deirdre


A Child and Family Team Meeting (CFTM) is an engagement tool utilized by child welfare agencies across the state of California to strengthen families and ensure the protection for a child in the foster care system by making decisions in a group setting. This research study examines social workers’ perspectives of CFTMs in a county child welfare agency in Southern California. The literature review supports the utilization of CFTMs as a practice to enhance engagement with families and achieve better outcomes for the organization.

A constructivist research paradigm was used in conducting this study, which collected qualitative data through interviews from key stakeholders at the study site. Social workers who work closely with families and participate in CFTMs contributed to the shared construction. The data was analyzed using a thematic analysis technique, and member checking in meetings was used to reflect on the shared construction of the usefulness of CFTMs.

The findings of study revealed that CFTMs are widely accepted by social workers and agency staff as an engagement tool to induce positive outcomes for the children and families involved. The perspectives of the participants revealed themes of increased engagement, communication, involved decision‑making, transparency in services and improved social work practice. The data gathered from this study provided a better understanding of CFTMs and may enhance social work practice by highlighting the need for agency support in workload reduction to allow for adequate time to prepare families for the CFTM and improve outcomes for safety, permanency and well‑being.