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Child Welfare: Family Meetings


Family Connections

The goal of Family Connections Oregon is to demonstrate the effectiveness of combined Family Find and Family Team Meetings while addressing infrastructure barriers and installing supports for implementation ans sustainability statewide. 




Family Decision Making Meeting Studies

Study I: This process study employed a grounded theory methodology and sought to examine the nature and function of Family Decision Meetings (FDMs) used by DHS Child Welfare in Oregon. Data Collection methods included meetings notes, meeting observations and in depth interviews with all meeting participants in 26 child welfare cases. Findings describe the dynamics of decision making and planning in FDMs and the various factors that either hinder or facilitate meaningful family involvement in those processes. 

Study II: This descriptive study looked at a larger sample of cases   (N = 100) throughout Oregon to create a profile of average use of meetings used by DHS Child Welfare and to look at follow through on meeting plans 45-60 days after meetings. Meeting notes and plans were reviewed for information on meeting frequency, timing, format, purpose, facilitation, attendance, and whether meetings addressed safety, attachment, and permanency needs of children. Interviews with caseworkers and family members were conducted 45-60 days after meetings regarding follow through on plans and reasons for lack of follow through. Findings show that practice varies widely from branch to branch. Regarding follow through, while parent noncompliance and relapse was most frequently cited for plan failure or delay, agency, service provider, and court issues also played a significant role. 

Funding:        Oregon Department of Human Services
Start Date:      1998
End Date:       2000