“Being a part of the Child and Family Team Partnership with Monterey County has completely enhanced the ways we collaborate in supporting our youth and families involved in child welfare and probation. It is critical that the children, parents and caregivers are given a voice and the opportunity to establish their support system to work toward reunification and maintaining connections with their community. Facilitating the Child and Family Team meetings as a neutral third party gives us the ability to help guide the team toward inclusive, strengths-based and culturally sensitive solutions. We partner with the family, county social workers, therapists, Family Engagement Specialists, CASAs and other community service providers to help create networks that will hold the youth in safe, healthy and permanent environments. The CFT folks at Kinship Center are wildly passionate and committed to this mission and I’m honored to work alongside them.”

-Carla Felten, CFT Partnership Supervisor

After a child or youth enters foster care in California and is placed in out-of-home care, a Child and Family Team (CFT) is formed.

Providing CFTs builds upon existing family-centered and team-based approaches to care. The use of a strengths-based, family-centered CFT process is key to engaging children, youth and families in the development and implementation of their individual case or treatment plans or other related services designed to meet their needs. By sharing decision-making and working together, it is more likely that positive and lasting outcomes will be achieved.

The Child and Family Team is comprised of the foster child or youth (or nonminor dependent) and key individuals in their life. The foster child/youth has a right to participate in their own case plan.

The child or youth and their family may request specific persons to be included on the child and family team. The law requires that the following individuals be included on the Child and Family Team and be invited to the CFT meeting:

  • The child or youth
  • The biological parents
  • The caregiver
  • The placing agency caseworker
  • A representative from the foster family agency
  • Mental health representatives and providers (required to be present if placement into a short-term residential therapeutic program or foster finding agency that provides treatment services has occurred or is being considered)
  • Formal support persons (such as treatment and educational professionals)
  • Extended family members
  • Informal support persons (i.e. friends, coaches, church representatives, tribe members)

The purpose of a CFT meeting is to assemble the people involved in the foster child's life to determine how best to address the child's needs and achieve positive outcomes of safety, permanency and well-being.

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