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Team Decision Making (TDM)

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The Team Decision Making Process

TDM is a collaborative meeting process designed to produce the best decision concerning a child’s safety and placement through the joint contributions of family members, community partners, service providers, caregivers and other support networks. TDM staff provide a vital link to the CSAT in connecting children and families to mental health services and other supportive resources, particularly in the case of replacements, reunifications, and returns to home. TDMs operate on the premise that the well-being of a child is best served by an inclusive collaboration and consensus of shared ideas and opinions in support of the child and their family.

Los Angeles County currently has 76 full-time TDM Facilitators Countywide. They conducted over 10,000 TDMs last year (7/1/06 to 6/30/07), impacting over 21,000 families. The TDM process has not yet been integrated into Emergency Response Command Post (ERCP), therefore, additional staffing is being requested to provide TDMs at ERCP or within 72 hours of taking a child into temporary custody. This will enable TDMs to occur on weekends, holidays, and after-hours resulting in reduced wait time to connect children/families to needed services. The additional staffing needs will be met with Title IV-E Waiver Capped Allocation funds.

Removal TDMs are the only TDMs that are mandatory at this time. The Department and the union continue to work together to reach an agreement regarding replacement and reunification TDMs. Everyone agrees that TDMs are "best practice", however, the union's contention is that caseloads are too high and places a strain on the case-carrying CSW and their Supervising Children’s Services Worker (SCSW). Therefore, the Department continues to plan its increase in the rate of TDMs in conjunction with caseload and workload reduction.

 

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Los Angeles County Department of
Children and Family Services

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