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County Home => Social Services => Child and Family Team Meetings => Child and Family Team Meeting Values

Child and Family Team Meeting Values

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Child and Family Team meetings, including Family Solutions Team meetings, conducted at Washoe County Department of Social Services, try to faithfully and consistently apply the following values associated with Family Group Decision Making model for the meeting process. We believe that:

  • Children have a right to maintain their kinship and cultural connections throughout their lives;
  • Children and their parents belong to a wider family system that both nurtures them and is responsible for them;
  • The family group, rather than the agency, is the context for child welfare and child protection resolutions;
  • All families are entitled to the respect of the state needs to make an extra effort to convey respect to those who are poor, socially excluded, marginalized, or lacking power or access to resources and services;
  • The state has a responsibility to recognize, support and build the family group’s capacity to protect and care for their young relatives;
  • Family groups know their own histories, and they use that information to construct thorough plans;
  • Active family group participation and leadership is essential for good outcomes for children, but power imbalances between family groups and child protection agency personnel must first be addressed; and
  • The state has a responsibility to defend family groups from unnecessary intrusion and to promote their growth and strength.

Credit: American Humane Association; Mike Doolan, University of Canterbury, NZ for the initial draft of these values.